outbreak (n.)

"eruption, a sudden and violent manifestation" (of disease, hostilities, etc.), c. 1600, from the verbal phrase; see out (adv.) + break (v.). Outbreak (v.) "to break out, escape confinement" (c. 1300) was still in poetic use in 19c.

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prodromal (adj.)

1716, in pathology, "preliminary," especially of minor symptoms preceding the outbreak of a disease, from Modern Latin prodromus "a running forward" (see prodrome) + -al (1).

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legionnaire (n.)

1818, from French légionnaire, from légion (see legion). Legionnaires' Disease, caused by Legionella pneumophilia, was named after the lethal outbreak of July 1976 at the American Legion convention in Philadelphia's Bellevue Stratford Hotel. Hence also Legionella as the name of the bacterium.

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coronavirus (n.)

type of RNA virus affecting birds and mammals, in humans as a respiratory tract infection, by 1968, is so called for the spikes that protrude from its membranes and resemble the corona of the sun; see corona.  Covid as a contraction of coronavirus disease seems to have been coined for the outbreak that began in China in 2019 (COVID-19).

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rash (n.)

"eruption of small red spots on skin," 1709, perhaps from French rache "a sore" (Old French rasche "rash, scurf"), from Vulgar Latin *rasicare "to scrape" (also source of Old Provençal rascar, Spanish rascar "to scrape, scratch," Italian raschina "itch"), a variant of classical Latin rasitare, from Latin rasus "scraped," past participle of radere "to scrape" (see raze (v.)). The connecting notion would be of itching. The figurative sense of "any sudden outbreak or proliferation" is recorded by 1820.

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influenza (n.)

type of infectious disease, now known to be caused by a virus, usually occurring as an epidemic, with symptoms similar to a severe cold along with high fever and rapid prostration, 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 in the astrological sense (see influence).

AN Article from Rome informs us that a Sort of Plague has broke out there, which destroys Abundance of their People, and they call it the Influenza. [The Gentleman's Magazine, April 1743]

Used in Italian for diseases at least since 1504 (as in influenza di febbre scarlattina "scarlet fever") on notion of astral, occult, or atmospheric influence. The 1743 outbreak began in Italy. Often applied since mid-19c. to severe colds. For the sense development, compare Latin sideratio "blast, blight, palsy," from siderari "to be planet-struck, afflicted as if by an evil star."

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uproar (n.)

1520s, "outbreak of disorder, revolt, commotion," used by Tindale and later Coverdale as a loan-translation of German Aufruhr or Dutch oproer "tumult, riot," literally "a stirring up," in German and Dutch bibles (as in Acts xxi.38). From German auf (Middle Dutch op) "up" (see up (adv.)) + ruhr (Middle Dutch roer) "a stirring, motion," related to Old English hreran "to move, stir, shake" (see rare (adj.2)). Meaning "noisy shouting" is first recorded 1540s, probably by mistaken association with unrelated roar.

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Black Death (n.)

"bubonic/pneumonic plague epidemic of 1347-51 in Europe," a modern name, introduced in English 1823 by Elizabeth Penrose's history of England. The contemporary 14c. name for it in most European languages was something like "the great dying" or simply "the plague;" in English it was the pestilence (or, looking back after its return in 1361-2, the first pestilence).

The term "Black Death" first turns up in 16c. Swedish and Danish chronicles, but it is used in reference to a visitation of plague in Iceland (which had been spared in the earlier outbreaks) in 1402-3 that carried off much of the population there. The exact sense of "black" is not clear. The term appears in English translations of the Scandinavian works from 1750s. It was picked up in German c. 1770 and applied to the earlier outbreak and was taken from there into English in that sense.

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plunder (v.)

"take goods or valuable forcibly from, take by pillage or open force," 1630s, from German plündern, from Middle High German plunderen "to plunder," originally "to take away household furniture," from plunder (n.) "household goods, clothes," also "lumber, baggage" (14c.; compare Modern German Plunder "lumber, trash"), which is related to Middle Dutch plunder "household goods;" Frisian and Dutch plunje "clothes."

A word said to have been acquired by neighboring languages from German during the Thirty Years' War, "in which many foreign mercenaries were engaged, and much plundering was done" [Century Dictionary]. Applied in native use after the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642. Related: Plundered; plundering.

Contemporary with "malignant," was the word, "plunder" .... Sure I am, we first heard thereof in the Swedish wars ; and if the name and thing be sent back from whence it came, few English eyes would weep thereat. [Fuller, "Church History of Britain," 1652]

Plunderbund was a U.S. colloquial word from 1914 referring to "a corrupt alliance of corporate and financial interests," with German Bund "alliance, league" and likely based on German Sonderbund "special league," a word made widely known by Swiss history.

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death (n.)

Old English deaþ "total cessation of life, act or fact of dying, state of being dead; cause of death," in plural, "ghosts," from Proto-Germanic *dauthuz (source also of Old Saxon doth, Old Frisian dath, Dutch dood, Old High German tod, German Tod, Old Norse dauði, Danish død, Swedish död, Gothic dauus "death"), from verbal stem *dau-, which is perhaps from PIE root *dheu- (3) "to die" (see die (v.)). With Proto-Germanic *-thuz suffix indicating "act, process, condition."

I would not that death should take me asleep. I would not have him meerly seise me, and onely declare me to be dead, but win me, and overcome me. When I must shipwrack, I would do it in a sea, where mine impotencie might have some excuse; not in a sullen weedy lake, where I could not have so much as exercise for my swimming. [John Donne, letter to Sir Henry Goodere, Sept. 1608]

Of inanimate things, "cessation, end," late 14c. From late 12c. as "death personified, a skeleton as the figure of mortality." As "a plague, a great mortality," late 14c. (in reference to the first outbreak of bubonic plague; compare Black Death). Death's-head, a symbol of mortality, is from 1590s. Death's door "the near approach of death" is from 1540s.

As a verbal intensifier "to death, mortally" (as in hate (something) to death) 1610s; earlier to dead (early 14c.). Slang be death on "be very good at" is from 1839. To be the death of "be the cause or occasion of death" is in Shakespeare (1596). Expression a fate worse than death is from 1810 though the idea is ancient.

Death row "part of a prison exclusively for those condemned to capital execution" is by 1912. Death knell is attested from 1814; death penalty "capital punishment" is from 1844; death rate from 1859. Death-throes "struggle which in some cases accompanies death" is from c. 1300.

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