anthrax /ˈanθraks/

a

I. noun [ mass noun]

1. a serious bacterial disease of sheep and cattle, typically affecting the skin and lungs. It can be transmitted to humans, causing severe skin ulceration (see malignant pustule) or a form of pneumonia ( wool-sorters’ disease).
– origin late Middle English: Latin, ‘carbuncle’ (the earliest sense in English), from Greek anthrax, anthrak- ‘coal, carbuncle’, with reference to the skin ulceration in humans.

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