- noun a frequently fatal notifiable viral disease transmitted to humans by infected animals
- noun a fatal virus affecting mammals (especially dogs, foxes and wolves but also humans), which is transmitted by the animal’s saliva
- noun a very serious viral disease transmitted to humans by infected animals that causes convulsions and inability to move
Origin & History of “rabies”
Latin rabiēs meant ‘fury, madness’ (it is the source of English rage). Hence it came to be used for ‘madness in dogs’, and was subsequently adopted as the name of the disease causing this, when it came to be identified. The word was derived from the verb rabere ‘be mad’, as also was rabidus, source of English rabid (17th c.).