Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: ILLNESS AND DISABILITY

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: plage, from Latin plaga 'hit, wound'

plague

1 noun
     
plague1
1 [countable]MI a disease that causes death and spreads quickly to a large number of people:
drops in population levels due to plagues and famines
2 [uncountable] also the plagueMI a very infectious disease that produces high fever and swollen places on the body, and often leads to death, especially bubonic plague [↪ Black Death]:
The plague caused 100,000 deaths in London alone in the 1600s.
3

a plague of rats/locusts etc

an uncontrolled and harmful increase in the numbers of a particular animal or insect:
A plague of squirrels is threatening our forests.

➔ avoid somebody/something like the plague

at avoid (2)
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