Definition of tuberculosis in English:


(also TB)


mass noun
  • An infectious bacterial disease characterized by the growth of nodules (tubercles) in the tissues, especially the lungs.

    The disease is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis or (especially in animals) a related species; Gram-positive acid-fast rods

    • ‘All three reactions with early pustule formation indicate concurrent tuberculosis.’
    • ‘Cervical lymph nodal enlargement is common to both tuberculosis and malignancy.’
    • ‘He died of tuberculosis, a disease from which he had suffered for many years.’
    • ‘This is the first mathematical model to study disease trend of tuberculosis in India.’
    • ‘Malaria and tuberculosis were dealt with in the little dispensary.’
    • ‘There are few medicines used to treat diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and polio that have patents on them now.’
    • ‘Two diseases intrigued her: tuberculosis and leprosy, both of which are caused by mycobacteria.’
    • ‘She's diabetic, and only has one lung after contracting tuberculosis at an early age.’
    • ‘The children then succumb to diseases like tuberculosis, pneumonia and meningitis.’
    • ‘Fixed dose drugs have proved successful in treating malaria and tuberculosis.’
    • ‘Skeletal tuberculosis is a haematogenous infection and affects almost all bones.’
    • ‘Crowded housing encouraged the spread of tuberculosis and infectious diseases such as measles.’
    • ‘The majority of the people she sees are suffering from malaria, tuberculosis and skin diseases.’
    • ‘Malnutrition was rife, as were diseases such as tuberculosis and smallpox.’
    • ‘The loss of the plant led to thousands of children dying from malaria, tuberculosis and other treatable diseases.’
    • ‘He said nanomachines could eventually be used to cure diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria.’
    • ‘A person may have had an infection with tuberculosis without being aware.’
    • ‘Spinal caries, known as Pott's Disease, is tuberculosis of the spinal column.’
    • ‘He worked on typhoid fever and tuberculosis a disease he contracted himself.’
    • ‘Early diagnosis of tuberculosis is an important arm in the control of tuberculosis.’
    pulmonary tuberculosis, tb, wasting disease, emaciation
    View synonyms

The most common form, pulmonary tuberculosis (formerly known as ‘consumption’), is caused by inhalation of the bacteria. It was widespread in 19th-century Europe, and still causes millions of deaths each year in developing countries. The disease can affect other parts of the body, notably the bones and joints and the central nervous system. Its spread is countered by vaccination and by the pasteurization of milk to prevent transmission from cattle. It was once considered incurable, but early X-ray diagnosis permits its arrest by drugs and surgery


Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin tuberculum (see tubercle) + -osis.