Definition of strangles in English:


plural noun

usually treated as singular
  • A bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract of horses, causing enlargement of the lymph nodes in the throat, which may impair breathing.

    This disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi

    • ‘As strangles is bacterial and not viral it can only be spread by direct contact with infected mucus.’
    • ‘The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has lifted its quarantine on a barn at Ellis Park in Henderson after a third round of tests came back negative for the equine bacterial disease strangles.’
    • ‘A vaccine for strangles, a highly contagious disease caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi, is now available in England for the first time after 12 years of research.’
    • ‘Bryans also helped develop equine vaccines for herpes, viral abortion, strangles, salmonellosis, and equine influenza.’
    • ‘The case involves a pony brought to Orkney but tests for strangles came up negative at the time.’


Early 17th century plural of obsolete strangle ‘strangulation’, from strangle.