Etymology
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rabies (n.)

"extremely fatal infectious disease of dogs, humans, and many other mammals," 1590s, from Latin rabies "madness, rage, fury," related to rabere "be mad, rave" (see rage (v.)). The mad-dog disease sense was a secondary meaning of the Latin noun. Known as hydrophobia (q.v.) in humans. Related: Rabietic.

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Definitions of rabies

rabies (n.)
an acute viral disease of the nervous system of warm-blooded animals (usually transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal); rabies is fatal if the virus reaches the brain;
Synonyms: hydrophobia / lyssa / madness
From wordnet.princeton.edu