Con*ta"gion (?), n. [L. contagio: cf. F. contagion. See Contact.]

1. Med.

The transmission of a disease from one person to another, by direct or indirect contact.

⇒ The term has been applied by some to the action of miasmata arising from dead animal or vegetable matter, bogs, fens, etc., but in this sense it is now abandoned.

Dunglison.

And will he steal out of his wholesome bed To dare the vile contagion of the night? Shak.

2.

That which serves as a medium or agency to transmit disease; a virus produced by, or exhalation proceeding from, a diseased person, and capable of reproducing the disease.

3.

The act or means of communicating any influence to the mind or heart; as, the contagion of enthusiasm.

"The contagion of example."

Eikon Basilike.

When lust . . . Lets in defilement to the inward parts, The soul grows clotted by contagion. Milton.

4.

Venom; poison.

[Obs.] "I'll touch my point with this contagion."

Shak.

Syn. -- See Infection.

 

© Webster 1913.

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