Definition of tertian in US English:

tertian

adjective

Medicine
  • attributive Denoting a form of malaria causing a fever that recurs every second day.

    The common benign tertian malaria (or tertian ague) is caused by infection with Plasmodium vivax or P. ovale, and malignant tertian malaria is caused by P. falciparum. Compare with quartan

    • ‘Two tertian malarial species, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale, may appear to be similar morphologically.’
    • ‘A list of patients admitted during the hospital's first years shows that reasons for admission included hysterick disorders, bloody flux, tertian ague, and melancholy.’
    • ‘Benign tertian malaria may not be seen until several years after arrival.’
    • ‘That August, however, Marvell died in his house in Great Russell Street from medical treatment prescribed for a tertian ague.’
    • ‘After much thought, the only thing I could see that was left to do was to give the historical treatment of inducing bouts of fever by infecting the patient with benign tertian malaria.’

Origin

Late Middle English ( fever) terciane, from Latin ( febris) tertiana, from tertius ‘third’ (the fever recurring every third day by inclusive reckoning).

Pronunciation

tertian

/ˈtərSHən//ˈtərʃən/