Definition of scabies in English:



mass noun
  • A contagious skin disease marked by itching and small raised red spots, caused by the itch mite.

    • ‘While animal strains of scabies exist and can infect humans, the mites cannot complete their life cycle or be passed to other hosts.’
    • ‘Limited water for washing leaves people vulnerable to skin diseases like scabies and surviving animals can spread diseases.’
    • ‘Fewer babies are covered with scabies and other skin diseases.’
    • ‘This bad water has caused skin diseases such as impetigo, scabies and eczema, as well as chronic diarrhea problems.’
    • ‘The skin infection scabies isn't necessarily passed on through intercourse, but as it involves close physical contact it's a possible method of transmission.’
    • ‘The bathing had been ordered to control an outbreak of scabies, a skin disease.’
    • ‘The present epidemic of scabies in the United Kingdom originated in the catchment population of this hospital in early 1990 and continues to be a problem.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, malnourishment and illness like fevers, coughs, malaria, scabies and diarrhoea are common.’
    • ‘Without an adequate water supply children cannot wash often enough and so contract eye infections and skin conditions such as scabies.’
    • ‘She diagnosed flu, pneumonia, upper respiratory illnesses like asthma, rashes and scabies.’
    • ‘Although a nuisance rather than a serious threat to general health, scabies is the best known of the diseases in man which are caused directly by mites.’
    • ‘They sometimes develop crusted scabies, with thickened skin and possibly thousands of mites.’
    • ‘Children who had any rash other than scabies, heat rash, or insect bites were referred to the project physician for a clinical assessment.’
    • ‘Consequently malaria, diarrhoea, scabies and respiratory diseases are rife.’
    • ‘After entertaining all the usual sexually transmitted diseases, JTL treated the patient for scabies.’
    • ‘Those ailments included scabies, a parasitic skin infection, and impetigo, a bacterial infection linked to poor sanitation.’
    • ‘This is mainly due to hunting and to diseases such as pneumonia, scabies and sinusitis caught from introduced sheep.’
    • ‘Some skin conditions, including eczema, scabies and hives, can cause itching.’
    • ‘For the diagnosis of scabies, skin scrapings have high specificity but low sensitivity.’
    • ‘A person with scabies can spread the infection before his symptoms have started.’


Late Middle English (denoting various skin diseases): from Latin, from scabere ‘to scratch’. The current sense dates from the early 19th century.