- an abnormal condition of the body, characterized by undue rise in temperature, quickening of the pulse, and disturbance of various body functions.
- an abnormally high body temperature.
- the number of degrees of such a temperature above the normal.
- any of a group of diseases in which high temperature is a prominent symptom: scarlet fever.
- intense nervous excitement: The audience was in a fever of anticipation.
verb (used with object)
- to affect with or as with fever: The excitement fevered him.
- an abnormally high body temperature, accompanied by a fast pulse rate, dry skin, etcRelated adjectives: febrile, pyretic
- any of various diseases, such as yellow fever or scarlet fever, characterized by a high temperature
- intense nervous excitement or agitationshe was in a fever about her party
- (tr) to affect with or as if with fever
late Old English fefor, fefer “fever,” from Latin febris “fever,” related to fovere “to warm, heat,” probably from PIE root *dhegh- “burn” (cf. Gothic dags, Old English dæg “day,” originally “the heat”); but some suggest a reduplication of a root represented by Sanskrit *bhur- “to be restless.”
Adopted into most Germanic languages (cf. German Fieber, Swedish feber, Danish feber), but not in Dutch. English spelling influenced by Old French fievre. Replaced Old English hriðing. Extended sense of “intense nervous excitement” is from 1580s.
- Body temperature above the normal of 98.6°F (37°C).pyrexia
- Any of various diseases in which there is an elevation of the body temperature above normal.
- A body temperature that is higher than normal. Fever is the body’s natural response to the release of substances called pyrogens by infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses. The pyrogens stimulate the hypothalamus in the brain to conserve heat and increase the basal metabolic rate.
see cabin fever; run a fever.