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2 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Dis·ease n.
 1. Lack of ease; uneasiness; trouble; vexation; disquiet. [Obs.]
    So all that night they passed in great disease.   --Spenser.
    To shield thee from diseases of the world.   --Shak.
 2. An alteration in the state of the body or of some of its organs, interrupting or disturbing the performance of the vital functions, and causing or threatening pain and weakness; malady; affection; illness; sickness; disorder; -- applied figuratively to the mind, to the moral character and habits, to institutions, the state, etc.
 Diseases desperate grown,
 By desperate appliances are relieved.   --Shak.
    The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public counsels have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have every where perished.   --Madison.
 Disease germ. See under Germ.
 Syn: -- Distemper; ailing; ailment; malady; disorder; sickness; illness; complaint; indisposition; affection. -- Disease, Disorder, Distemper, Malady, Affection. Disease is the leading medical term. Disorder meanmuch the same, with perhaps some slight reference to an irregularity of the system. Distemper is now used by physicians only of the diseases of animals. Malady is not a medical term, and is less used than formerly in literature. Affection has special reference to the part, organ, or function disturbed; as, his disease is an affection of the lungs. A disease is usually deep-seated and permanent, or at least prolonged; a disorder is often slight, partial, and temporary; malady has less of a technical sense than the other terms, and refers more especially to the suffering endured. In a figurative sense we speak of a disease mind, of disordered faculties, and of mental maladies.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Germ n.
 1. Biol. That which is to develop a new individual; as, the germ of a fetus, of a plant or flower, and the like; the earliest form under which an organism appears.
    In the entire process in which a new being originates . . . two distinct classes of action participate; namely, the act of generation by which the germ is produced; and the act of development, by which that germ is evolved into the complete organism.   --Carpenter.
 2. That from which anything springs; origin; first principle; as, the germ of civil liberty.
 3. Biol. The germ cells, collectively, as distinguished from the somatic cells, or soma. Germ is often used in place of germinal to form phrases; as, germ area, germ disc, germ membrane, germ nucleus, germ sac, etc.
 Disease germ Biol., a name applied to certain tiny bacterial organisms or their spores, such as Anthrax bacillus and the Micrococcus of fowl cholera, which have been demonstrated to be the cause of certain diseases; same as germ4. See Germ theory (below).
 Germ cell Biol., the germ, egg, spore, or cell from which the plant or animal arises. At one time a part of the body of the parent, it finally becomes detached, and by a process of multiplication and growth gives rise to a mass of cells, which ultimately form a new individual like the parent. See Ovum.
 Germ gland. Anat. See Gonad.
 Germ stock Zool., a special process on which buds are developed in certain animals. See Doliolum.
 Germ theory Biol., the theory that living organisms can be produced only by the evolution or development of living germs or seeds. See Biogenesis, and Abiogenesis. As applied to the origin of disease, the theory claims that the zymotic diseases are due to the rapid development and multiplication of various bacteria, the germs or spores of which are either contained in the organism itself, or transferred through the air or water. See Fermentation theory.