Definition of cholera in US English:



  • An infectious and often fatal bacterial disease of the small intestine, typically contracted from infected water supplies and causing severe vomiting and diarrhea.

    The disease is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. See vibrio

    • ‘Pasteur went on to discover vaccinations for chicken pox, cholera, diphtheria, anthrax and rabies.’
    • ‘The role of global environmental change on diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and cholera has been well documented.’
    • ‘You do hear about outbreaks of things like cholera and dysentery as well as malaria.’
    • ‘The International Red Cross, said it was concerned about waterborne diseases like malaria and cholera.’
    • ‘Storm flooding regularly kills tens of thousands and spreads epidemic diseases like cholera.’
    • ‘Some camps will become unreachable, and there will be an increased possibility of malaria and cholera outbreaks.’
    • ‘There's a lot of disease raging across the board from cholera to malaria to measles.’
    • ‘The Narrator escapes from the city in order to avoid being infected by cholera.’
    • ‘In 1832 the Central Board of Health issued public advice to Londoners on how to abort the early symptoms of cholera.’
    • ‘Malaria, cholera, typhoid and polio are all endemic in the region.’
    • ‘Cash raised will help victims of the conflict by supplying clean water to combat the spread of diseases like cholera.’
    • ‘Many of these regions also suffer from epidemics of other infectious diseases such as cholera and malaria.’
    • ‘The flood victims face the danger of epidemics of cholera, dysentery, malaria and other diseases.’
    • ‘The World Health Organisation has already warned about major illnesses like cholera.’
    • ‘This is likely to be a logistical problem in areas where diarrhoea is common and coexists with cholera.’
    • ‘Doctors there were seeing many cases of diarrhoeal disease and feared epidemics of dysentery and cholera.’
    • ‘Thus cholera and typhoid, both water-borne diseases, may have been two early biological warfare agents.’
    • ‘For them, water borne diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery and cholera are a constant threat.’
    • ‘Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium in the same family as those that cause cholera.’
    • ‘Epidemics of botulism and cholera exacted a heavy toll on waterfowl in the West.’


Late Middle English (originally denoting bile and later applied to various ailments involving vomiting and diarrhea): from Latin (see choler). The current sense dates from the early 19th century.