One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The action of contaminating, polluting, or infecting something, especially the skin or the blood; an instance of this. Formerly also: †a physical abnormality, especially a lesion of the skin, attributed to this (obsolete).
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Philip Barrough (fl. 1590), medical writer. From (i) Middle French defedation corruption, infection.
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