Definition of Spanish flu in US English:

Spanish flu

(also Spanish influenza)


  • Influenza caused by an influenza virus of type A, in particular that of the pandemic which began in 1918.

    • ‘The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic killed as many as 100 million people worldwide.’
    • ‘The great Spanish flu pandemic came right at the end of the war, and while the war killed 6-million people, the flu killed more than 20-million, and it caused havoc right around the globe.’
    • ‘Ivy was eight when Spanish influenza tore through the country.’
    • ‘One report talked about the determination of the genetic makeup of the dreaded 1918 Spanish influenza virus.’
    • ‘This strain of influenza, which was named the Spanish flu, reached its peak in the United States just as World War I was about to come to an end in November 1917.’
    • ‘Experts say the disease could affect many more people than the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that killed as many as 100 million people.’
    • ‘It is believed that four-year-old Michael Dravitzki has fallen foul to Spanish influenza, a potent strain of the virus that swept the world in 1918-19.’
    • ‘The 1918 Spanish flu killed 500,000 Americans, and millions more across the globe.’
    • ‘Like other respiratory ailments, Spanish influenza attacked Aboriginal communities with exceptional severity.’
    • ‘Two of my grandparents had survived the Spanish flu in 1918.’
    • ‘Comparisons to the 1918 Spanish influenza have produced death toll projections in excess of 360 million, evoking images of chaos in the streets.’
    • ‘During mid-1918, Europe was hit by Spanish flu and an estimated 25 million people died.’
    • ‘The human Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918, which killed between 20 million and 50 million people across the globe, was, it is believed, a mutation of a pig influenza virus that was spread from American pigs by US troops during World War I.’