Definition of measles in English:


plural noun

often the measles
  • 1[treated as singular] An infectious viral disease causing fever and a red rash on the skin, typically occurring in childhood.

    • ‘Anne tells Kitty that she is worried about Daddy, who has a fever and a rash, which looks like measles.’
    • ‘I'm filling in for my cousin who has the measles.’
    • ‘The immunization level for specific diseases such as polio and measles now surpasses 90 percent.’
    • ‘Johnny would probably get pneumonia, or a childhood disease such as whooping cough or measles, and die.’
    • ‘Sven Wilson finds that soldiers who became ill with measles or respiratory illness while serving were likely to suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in their old age.’
    • ‘Thousands of the Aztecs died from ordinary diseases - measles and the flu.’
    • ‘But the youngest died of measles at a very young age.’
    • ‘Because of vaccine shortages, such diseases as whooping cough, measles, mumps, and even polio (which had been all but eradicated) have also increased.’
    • ‘These include measles and some foodborne infections.’
    • ‘In Africa, however, measles is still killing children.’
    • ‘The fact that we didn't see an outbreak of epidemics and disease like cholera or measles was partly due to the fact that people gave funds quickly.’
    • ‘Native Americans used the leathery leaves in a healing tea for measles.’
    • ‘I heard today that some of the men have come down with the measles and some have died from it.’
    • ‘The serum was also used in vaccines against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria and whooping cough until as late as 1993.’
    • ‘As a virulent strain of the measles spreads among the students, the town doctor puts Plumfield under quarantine.’
    • ‘Maybe I should come down with a case of the measles before Friday.’
    • ‘Higher temperatures will mean increased incidences of vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and measles.’
    • ‘Children often died of measles or diphtheria in the late 1800s.’
    • ‘She had her rubella vaccination when she was fourteen, but when she was sixteen, she still caught the measles.’
    • ‘But here you are and here I am, and you've got the measles.’
    1. 1.1 A disease of pigs and other animals caused by the encysted larvae of the human tapeworm.


Middle English maseles, probably from Middle Dutch masel pustule (compare with modern Dutch mazelen measles). The spelling change was due to association with Middle English mesel leprous, leprosy.