One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Extreme or irrational fear of water, especially as a symptom of rabies in humans.
insanity, insaneness, dementia, mental illness, derangement, dementedness, instability, unsoundness of mind, lunacy, distraction, depression, mania, hysteria, frenzy, psychosis, psychopathy, schizophreniaView synonyms
- ‘Salivation and thirst are great but the victim cannot swallow water because of throat muscle spasm hence the misnomer hydrophobia.’
- ‘There's a stage of rabies where people develop hydrophobia, a bizarre and irrational fear of water.’
- ‘It is specific for asthma and oppressed breathing, hiccup, whooping cough, spasmodic croup, tetanus, hydrophobia, hysteria paroxysms and hysterical convulsions.’
- ‘A variety of other clinical findings ensue, which may include anxiety, restlessness, hyperexcitability, hallucinations, dysphagia, and hydrophobia.’
- ‘Merely staring at the sea was enough to make her feel sick, her hydrophobia flaring.’
- 1.1 Rabies, especially in humans.
- ‘Rabies is also known as hydrophobia (fear of water).’
- ‘Also well known is hydrophobia, literally ‘fear of water ‘, as a name for rabies, which sometimes appears to cause such a sensation in sufferers because it makes the throat swell and so it becomes difficult for the victim to swallow.’’
- ‘To protect a healthy person forever from smallpox, hydrophobia, diptheria and so on, the doctor gives him those very diseases.’
- ‘Ain't that some incurable disease like hydrophobia?’
- ‘Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.’
Late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek hudrophobia, from hudro- ‘water’ + phobos ‘fear’.
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