- Pathology. an acute, commonly epidemic disease, occurring in several forms, caused by numerous rapidly mutating viral strains and characterized by respiratory symptoms and general prostration.Compare flu.
- Veterinary Pathology. an acute, contagious disease occurring in horses and swine, characterized by fever, depression, and catarrhal inflammations of the eyes, nasal passages, and bronchi, and caused by a virus.
- a highly contagious and often epidemic viral disease characterized by fever, prostration, muscular aches and pains, and inflammation of the respiratory passagesAlso called: grippe, informal flu
1743, borrowed during an outbreak of the disease in Europe, from Italian influenza “influenza, epidemic,” originally “visitation, influence (of the stars),” from Medieval Latin influentia (see influence). Used in Italian for diseases since at least 1504 (cf. influenza di febbre scarlattina “scarlet fever”) on notion of astral or occult influence. The 1743 outbreak began in Italy. Often applied since mid-19c. to severe colds.
- An acute contagious viral infection, commonly occurring in epidemics or pandemics, and characterized by inflammation of the respiratory tract and by the sudden onset, fever, chills, muscular pain, headache, and severe prostration.grippe
- A highly contagious infectious disease that is caused by any of various viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae and is characterized by fever, respiratory symptoms, fatigue, and muscle pain. It commonly occurs in epidemics, one of which killed 20 million people between 1917 and 1919.
Commonly called the flu; an acute and infectious disease of the respiratory system caused by a virus and characterized by fever, muscle pain, headache, and inflammation of the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract.