• WordNet 3.6
    • n syphilis a common venereal disease caused by the treponema pallidum spirochete; symptoms change through progressive stages; can be congenital (transmitted through the placenta)
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: When potatoes first appeared in Europe in the seventeenth century, it was thought that they were disgusting, and they were blamed for starting outbreaks of leprosy and syphilis. As late as 1720 in America, eating potatoes was believed to shorten a person's life.
    • n Syphilis (Med) The pox, or venereal disease; a chronic, specific, infectious disease, usually communicated by sexual intercourse or by hereditary transmission, and occurring in three stages known as primary secondary, and tertiary syphilis. See under Primary Secondary, and Tertiary.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n syphilis An infectious venereal disease of chronic course, communicated from person to person by actual contact with discharges containing the virus, or by heredity. The initial lesion at the point of inoculation is the hard or true chancre; this, after a short period, is followed by skin-affections of varied form, sore throat with mucous patches and swelling of the lymphatic glands, and later by disease of the bones, muscles, arteries, and viscera. The chancre is known as primary syphilis, the diseases of the skin and mucous membranes as secondary syphilis, and the later disorders as tertiary syphilis.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Syphilis sif′i-lis a markedly contagious, infective, and inoculable disease, capable of being transmitted to the offspring, propagated by direct contagion or by the transmission of the virus through some vessel or medium which has recently been contaminated—most commonly caused by impure sexual intercourse
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  • Karl Kraus
    “Morality is a venereal disease. Its primary stage is called virtue; its secondary stage, boredom; its tertiary stage, syphilis.”
  • Charles Baudelaire
    “We all have the republican spirit in our veins, like syphilis in our bones. We are democratized and venerealized.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Syphilus, the name of a shepherd in the Latin poem of Fracastoro, “Syphilus, sive Morbus Gallicus,” which was published in 1530; Gr. hog, swine + dear, loving. The term was introduced into nosology by Sauvages
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
The word is borrowed from the name of a figure in Fracastoro's poem, Syphilidis Libri III.


In literature:

Consumption, as such, was neither imported nor propagated by Europeans into those islands, its original entry being in the shape of syphilis.
"History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present" by Peter Charles Remondino
Syphilis all cleared up?
"Greener Than You Think" by Ward Moore
The largest number of the sick who seek health at the baths, suffer from syphilis.
"The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II" by A.E. Nordenskieold
Syphilis is very common in the hill country in the north-east of the province.
"The Panjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir" by Sir James McCrone Douie
Surgeons frequently contract syphilis while operating on, or examining patients who have the disease.
"The Eugenic Marriage, Vol 2 (of 4)" by W. Grant Hague
Moreover, what, after all, are the lessons which the men are to learn from these three hours of talk on syphilis?
"Psychology and Social Sanity" by Hugo Münsterberg
The same truth applies to syphilis.
"The Eugenic Marriage, Vol. 3 (of 4)" by W. Grant Hague
That she had probably at a former period contracted syphilis.
"Fasting Girls" by William Alexander Hammond
The disease is not contagious, nor is it due to syphilis.
"Essentials of Diseases of the Skin" by Henry Weightman Stelwagon
Syphilis, one of the most productive causes of degeneration, is exceedingly active throughout the whole civilized world.
"Religion and Lust" by James Weir
I hardly need to say anything about syphilis.
"Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls" by Various
Had had syphilis, the symptoms of which had disappeared under Dr. C.'s treatment.
"The Electric Bath" by George M. Schweig
Syphilis produces large and palpable knots from the start.
"Prof. Koch's Method to Cure Tuberculosis Popularly Treated" by Max Birnbaum
In the absorption of venereal matter the usual methods of cure in syphilis must be administered, as in Class II.
"Zoonomia, Vol. II" by Erasmus Darwin
This disease, known as syphilis, is practically incurable.
"What a Young Woman Ought to Know" by Mary Wood-Allen
Active syphilis is antagonistic to the goat-tissue.
"The Goat-gland Transplantation" by Sydney B. Flower
His father was a drunkard afflicted with syphilis, and Giuliano had suffered from epilepsy from the age of seven.
"Criminal Man" by Gina Lombroso-Ferrero
Thus, in the sixteenth century, the disease was considered identical with syphilis in man.
"Special Report on Diseases of Cattle" by U.S. Department of Agriculture
Moreover, syphilis is charged with being the greatest race destroyer.
"Sex-education" by Maurice Alpheus Bigelow
One last example: syphilis has been plausibly credited with much of the sterility.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson

In news:

Syphilis is making a comeback.
9 syphilis cases in LA porn industry outbreak, more expected.
(CBS/AP) More infections have been reported in a syphilis outbreak tied to the Los Angeles porn industry, county health officials announced Tuesday.
Guatemala plans to run ads to identify victims of US syphilis experiment.
97% increase in new infectious syphilis cases.
Syphilis outbreak declared in Harris County.
The Houston Department of Health and Human Services has declared a syphilis outbreak in Houston and Harris County.
That's because doctors have seen an increase in the number of Syphilis cases recently.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is usually transmitted through sex.
Oklahoma's high syphilis rate prompts marketing campaign.
Oklahoma County, which traditionally has one of the nation's highest rates of syphilis , is fighting the sexually transmitted disease with a public education effort and improved health screenings.
New cases of syphilis have fallen to their lowest rate in the United States in 40 years, the Government said today.
LA Porn Industry Shuts Down in Syphilis Scare.
A national pornography trade group announced a ban on X-rated film productions while the adult entertainment industry is reeling from a possible syphilis outbreak, reports AP.
A new book has revealed that Hitler wanted silicon sex dolls called "gynoids" to be given to Nazi troops in France, who Nazi brass feared were getting too involved with syphilis -ridden French prostitutes.

In science:

Group testing was proposed during World War II as a technique for reducing the costs of syphilis tests in the army by simultaneously testing groups of soldiers [Dor43].
Estimating Random Variables from Random Sparse Observations
There are two endogenous variables, S (for syphilis) and P (for paresis), and two exogenous variables, U1 , the background factors that determine S , and U2 , which intuitively represents “disposition to paresis”, that is, the factors that determine, in conjunction with syphilis, whether paresis actually develops.
Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part II: Explanations
An agent who knows this causal model and that a patient has paresis does not need an explanation of why: he knows without being told that the patient must have syphilis and that U2 = 1.
Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part II: Explanations
The problem of combinatorial group testing dates back to World War II, for the problem of determining which in a group of n blood samples contain the syphilis antigen (hence, are contaminated).
Improved Combinatorial Group Testing Algorithms for Real-World Problem Sizes
Group testing dates back to 1943, when Dorfman suggested to use it for testing whether US draftees had syphilis .
Statistical Physics of Group Testing
It was originally proposed during World War II to reduce the total number of blood tests required to detect soldiers with Syphilis , .
Boolean Compressed Sensing and Noisy Group Testing
Group testing was first studied by Dorfman in the context of testing soldiers’ blood for syphilis.
Interference Mitigation in Large Random Wireless Networks
Dorfman, a Swiss physician intended to test blood samples of millions of soldiers during World War II in order to find those who were infected by syphilis.
Density-based group testing
Group testing as a subject dates back to the work of Dorfman in 1940s studying practical ways of testing soldiers’ blood for syphilis, and has received much attention from combinatorialists and probabilists since.
Adaptive group testing as channel coding with feedback