Definition of king's evil in English:

king's evil


  • [mass noun] Scrofula, formerly held to be curable by the royal touch.

    • ‘The charm made in Blackmore Vale Dairy was good against the king's evil and tubercular wounds.’
    • ‘The disappearance of touching for the king's evil was probably just as much a result of an increasing understanding of science and medicine as it was of the decreasing God-like reverence for monarchs.’
    • ‘He sees something magic in it, scientific magic, like being touched by the king for the king's evil.’
    • ‘When 3 years old he was brought to London to be touched for the king's evil by Queen Anne; the illness seriously affected his sight, but he was from an early age an avid reader.’
    • ‘He believed that he possessed semi-divine powers and attributes (no king touched so much for the king's evil, that class of unpleasant glandular and scrofulous disorders that kings were reputed to be able to cure).’