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syph·i·lis

n :  a chronic contagious usu. venereal and often congenital disease that is caused by a spirochete of the genus Treponema (T. pallidum) and if left untreated produces chancres, rashes, and systemic lesions in a clinical course with three stages continued over many years - called also lues  - see PRIMARY SYPHILIS SECONDARY SYPHILIS TERTIARY SYPHILIS 
 
Syphilus literary character. Syphilus is the hero of the 1530 Latin poem “Syphilis or the French Disease,” which was written by the Italian physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro. Syphilus is a swineherd who blasphemes a sun-god and as a punishment is afflicted with a disease.

 
 
 
Similar sounding terms:  Cepha·elis  zo·oph·i·lous 

 
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