Definition of Waterhouse–Friderichsen syndrome in US English:

Waterhouse–Friderichsen syndrome


  • Fulminating meningococcal (or, rarely, other bacterial) septicaemia with purpuric rash, haemorrhage into the adrenal glands, and shock, occurring mainly in children and rapidly fatal if untreated.


1930s; earliest use found in Acta Paediatrica Scandinavica. From the names of Rupert Waterhouse, English physician, and Carl Friderichsen, Danish physician, who both described cases of the disease (in 1911 and 1918, respectively) + syndrome, after German Syndrom von Waterhouse-Friderichsen.


Waterhouse–Friderichsen syndrome

/ˌwɔːtəhaʊs ˈfriːdərɪksən ˌsɪndrəʊm/