One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
2Alchemy. Impurity of a metal; †an instance of this, an impurity (obsolete). Compare "leprous". Now historical.
3Botany. Scaliness (of a plant part). Compare leprose, "leprous". rare.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in John Capgrave (1393–1464), prior of Bishop's Lynn, theologian, and historian. From post-classical Latin leprositat-, leprositas leprosy from leprosus + classical Latin -tās.
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