Diph*the"ri*a (?), n. [NL., fr. Gr. leather (hence taken in the sense of membrane): cf. to make soft, L. depsere to knead.] Med.
A very dangerous contagious disease in which the air passages, and especially the throat, become coated with a false membrane, produced by the solidification of an inflammatory exudation. Cf. Group.
© Webster 1913.