One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A form of malaria prevalent in or (supposedly) specific to Rome. Now historical.
2A strongly felt attraction towards Roman Catholicism, Roman Catholic doctrines, etc., on the part of an Anglican or other non-Catholic.
Early 18th century. From Roman + fever, after post-classical Latin febris Romana.
Roman fever/ˈrəʊmən ˈfiːvə/
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