Definition of contagion in US English:

contagion

noun

  • 1The communication of disease from one person to another by close contact.

    ‘the rooms held no risk of contagion’
    • ‘These documents give us our first clear understanding of how the tobacco contagion works.’
    • ‘The circulating nurse calls the attending pathologist and informs him or her of the possible contagion.’
    • ‘Done properly, quarantine could often halt further contagion.’
    • ‘Hugh, one of the great worries is contagion and disease that follows something like this if the water supply is not adequate.’
    • ‘The problem was not physical contagion which the word disease brings to mind.’
    • ‘Disease surveillance should be increased during floods, and information should be disseminated rapidly to dispel false rumours of contagion or outbreaks.’
    • ‘Could these be manipulated to reduce contagion?’
    • ‘The scientists warned against complacency, saying that the risk of contagion can only be reduced and delayed - but not eliminated - by present measures to cull and contain, and by the end of the flu season.’
    • ‘The confluence of invisibility, indeterminacy, and contagion understandably generates anxiety and encourages behaviour that reduces risk of exposure.’
    • ‘All laws of quarantine have their origin and basis in the concept of disease transmission by contagion.’
    • ‘Secondly, trials using viral vectors occasionally present risks to the public through transmission of transgenes or contagion.’
    • ‘The military historically follows standard civilian practice regarding contagion, diagnosis, and treatment.’
    • ‘These products keep the birds alive, even if they have the virus, which raises the risks of contagion when they are sold or transported.’
    • ‘Recessionary risks in the US, and widespread foot-and-mouth contagion in Europe could mean further short-term weakness.’
    • ‘True, the rate of contagion from smallpox vaccine is low: Of every million people who get the vaccine, only about 30 would become contagious.’
    • ‘But infection or contagion of the air could be caused by people too.’
    • ‘The sick and wounded avoid infecting each other and those who are well escape contagion.’
    • ‘Despite this awful reality, there are still things states can do to at least contain the risk of contagion within their populations.’
    • ‘For example, the controversial nature of inoculation at the time, not least the risk of contagion, ensured clashing attitudes and very different regulatory regimes.’
    • ‘Thus encouraged, Vincent at once commenced his work with zeal and without fear, he hurried into the scenes of contagion and entered the dwellings of disease and death.’
    1. 1.1dated A disease spread by close contact.
      • ‘Meanwhile the trade ship requested the bodies of the colonists, and upon being told they had burned the settlement to prevent spread of the contagion, could do nothing further in the system so moved on.’
      • ‘The text weaves between the two time frames, the past and the future, and in both people are dying of a mysterious contagion.’
      • ‘Mortality rates dropped with the control of such contagions as smallpox, but tuberculosis continued to be a major problem that retarded population growth.’
      • ‘The contagion has spread to other countries and since there is no certainty about how the virus is transmitted, there is uncertainty about how to cope with it.’
      • ‘Indeed, the contagion is spreading across this country.’
      • ‘Or does the infection somehow permeate the entire environment, a contagion infecting everyone equally?’
      • ‘To talk about an epidemic of obesity is like talking about a plague of inactivity or a contagion of overeating.’
      • ‘Drains and sewers were known in ancient Rome, and when they were employed in the nineteenth century they were highly effective in reducing contagions.’
      • ‘Not everyone in a city with a smallpox contagion is going to catch it, so the overall mortality for a population center would be less than that.’
      • ‘For scarlet fever patients were kept in hospital for six weeks and only allowed to speak to visitors through the window for fear of the contagion.’
      • ‘There's only one problem: the contagions we are now resistant to are not Measles, Mumps and Rubella.’
      • ‘When dark imaginations seek images that speak to fear of contagion and plague, rats scurrying out of garbage piles and sewer holes supply a metaphor for humans.’
      • ‘The second, a wasting contagion, produces an entropic narrative of slow dying, finally petering away into ignominious extinction.’
      • ‘I heard that they spread their contagion through scratches made by their claws.’
      • ‘This contagion was spreading at an alarming rate, thanks also to the society's growing yet harmful indifference.’
      • ‘Deforestation and other radical ecosystem alterations also promote diseases, such as malaria and cholera, as well as new strains of existing contagions.’
      • ‘The local daily never having printed the word, the contagion was spread almost exclusively among the hospital staff, in whom the disease lay latent for the month of July.’
      • ‘As a consequence, they would have come in contact with a vast array of other animals at the periphery of their habitat, which conceivably could have transferred a disease contagion to the great herds of the plains.’
      • ‘To cut down on crowds possibly spreading contagion, all the ice rinks, along with most other facilities, were temporarily closed.’
      • ‘In perhaps the oddest twist of all, this most ferocious of contagions simply went away of its own accord, never (or, at least, not yet) to be seen again.’
      contamination, infection, disease, illness, infirmity, pestilence, plague, blight
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The spreading of a harmful idea or practice.
      ‘the contagion of disgrace’
      • ‘This outrage may in fact have the opposite effect, by spreading a martyr's contagion.’
      • ‘However, stigma is much more than fear of contagion; it is also a tool used by cultures to exclude those felt to have broken extant rules.’
      • ‘As the contagion of revolutionary ideas spread to Italy, every government, princely or republican, strove to repress it.’
      • ‘But word about the product didn't spread by contagion alone.’
      • ‘The government was alarmed by two things above all - the impact of French notions of ‘self-determination’ on Britain's Low Country client states, and the contagion of ideas.’
      • ‘Other authors under consideration in this book also developed fictions that explicitly deal with political fears of cultural contagion in an age of imperialism.’
      • ‘The weeping spread like contagion to Amma and our maid.’
      • ‘By the 1690s, Spinoza's ideas could be found in all the bookshops, and even polemics against him served only to spread the intellectual contagion.’
      • ‘I have fretted that some journalists might take it upon themselves to spread the vile contagion of conscience.’
      • ‘This became even clearer in 1998 as the financial contagion spread throughout the emerging world.’
      • ‘As investors flew to safety, the contagion of fear spread, first to the other emerging markets, then to the equity markets of more developed nations.’
      • ‘Like a virus on the Internet, this contagion spreads globally, especially as bigger companies shrink their advertising budgets.’
      • ‘The revolutionary contagion spread and the diaspora provided, at least in the American republic, a climate in which plots against the union thrived.’
      • ‘Shareholders were holding their heads in horror last Thursday watching the London stock market execute a 225-point freefall as the US contagion spread into the UK.’
      • ‘He continued: ‘The danger is disorder, and in today's world it now spreads like contagion.’’
      • ‘Fear of contagion from violence ‘up there’ became widespread.’
      • ‘Violence, like any contagion, will spread to new and new categories of victims, endlessly reducing the remnant of the saved until it is purified out of existence.’
      • ‘He would, he said, ‘abandon his best friends and join with his worst enemies,’ to prevent the contagion of French ideas spreading to Britain.’
      • ‘Confidence in the underlying credit market has been undermined and contagion effects are spreading into adjacent markets.’
      • ‘Then, in 1998, came the Russian default - and with it, fear that the contagion would spread, and economy after economy would fall ill and roll over dead.’

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting a contagious disease): from Latin contagio(n-), from con- ‘together with’ + the base of tangere ‘to touch’.

Pronunciation

contagion

/kənˈtājən//kənˈteɪdʒən/