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(also lues venerea)mass noun dated
A serious infectious disease, particularly syphilis.‘Congenital lues up to the time of puberty may simulate acute articular rheumatism.’
plague, bubonic plague, the Black Death
- ‘On the other hand, I readily admit the influence of a milder form of lues venerea.’
- ‘The lues venerea can only be said to be incurable when the disease is got to that deplorable point by neglect, that the emaciated and hectic state of the patient's constitution forbids the use of mercury.’
Mid 17th century from Latin, literally ‘plague’.
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