Definition of strangles in English:


plural noun

  • usually treated as singular A bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract of horses, causing enlargement of the lymph nodes in the throat, which may impair breathing.

    • ‘The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has lifted its quarantine on a barn at Ellis Park in Henderson after a third round of tests came back negative for the equine bacterial disease strangles.’
    • ‘The case involves a pony brought to Orkney but tests for strangles came up negative at the time.’
    • ‘As strangles is bacterial and not viral it can only be spread by direct contact with infected mucus.’
    • ‘A vaccine for strangles, a highly contagious disease caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi, is now available in England for the first time after 12 years of research.’
    • ‘Bryans also helped develop equine vaccines for herpes, viral abortion, strangles, salmonellosis, and equine influenza.’


Early 17th century: plural of obsolete strangle ‘strangulation’, from strangle.