One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Attributive Designating the bacterium Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum, which resembles the causal agent of diphtheria, C. diphtheriae, and is found in the nasopharynx of humans, but is non-pathogenic. Chiefly in "pseudodiphtheria bacillus". Compare pseudodiphtheritic. Now historical.
2Any of various forms of pharyngitis or tonsillitis resembling diphtheria, especially by the presence of a pseudomembrane. Now rare.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Lancet. From pseudo- + diphtheria.
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