an infectious, often fatal disease of cattle, sheep, and other mammals, caused by Bacillus anthracis, transmitted to humans by contaminated wool, raw meat, or other animal products.
a malignant carbuncle that is the diagnostic lesion of anthrax disease in humans.
Contemporary Examples

As with the anthrax attacks, the disturbing news of these letters is delivered along with both fear and confusion.
Ricin: Five Things to Know About It Caitlin Dickson April 16, 2013

As a result of the small size of the spores, anthrax is virtually impossible to see, smell, or taste.
CDC: 80 May Have Been Exposed to Anthrax Abby Haglage June 18, 2014

This was done not too far after we had all the anthrax letters going around, so it does evoke that in an office environment.
NCIS’s 11th Anniversary: Michael Weatherly’s Top 10 Moments Michael Weatherly September 22, 2013

The son is reportedly part of a new generation of young drug lords who called themselves “the anthrax Group.”
Could El Chapo Go Free? Michael Daly November 18, 2014

They distribute the containers containing the anthrax powder to the final teams.
The Coming Bioattack Stephan Talty June 4, 2009

Historical Examples

To linger over this strange method of feeding is superfluous after what I have said about the anthrax.
The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre

Therefore he followed with rabies the method that he had followed with anthrax.
Experiments on Animals Stephen Paget

I refer to the extreme readiness with which the anthrax’ larva quits and returns to the Chalicodoma grub on which it is feeding.
The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre

At that time, the best-known microbe was the bacillus of anthrax.
Life of Elie Metchnikoff, 1845-1916 Olga Metchnikoff

The lip is sometimes the seat of the malignant pustule of anthrax.
Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities–Head–Neck. Sixth Edition. Alexander Miles

noun (pl) -thraces (-θrəˌsiːz)
a highly infectious and often fatal disease of herbivores, esp cattle and sheep, characterized by fever, enlarged spleen, and swelling of the throat. Carnivores are relatively resistant. It is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis and can be transmitted to man
a pustule or other lesion caused by this disease

late 14c., “any severe boil or carbuncle,” from Latin, from Greek anthrax “charcoal, live coal,” also “carbuncle,” of unknown origin. Specific sense of the malignant disease in sheep and cattle (and occasionally humans) is from 1876.

anthrax an·thrax (ān’thrāks’)

An infectious, usually fatal disease of warm-blooded animals that is characterized by ulcerative skin lesions, can be transmitted to humans, and is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Also called carbuncle.

pl. an·thra·ces (-thrə-sēz’) A lesion caused by anthrax.

An infectious, usually fatal disease of mammals, especially cattle and sheep, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The disease is transmitted to humans through cutaneous contact, ingestion, or inhalation. Cutaneous anthrax is marked by the formation of a necrotic skin ulcer, high fever, and toxemia. Inhalation anthrax leads to severe pneumonia that is usually fatal.

An infectious disease transmitted by a bacterium in animals, which can also be transmitted to humans. Often fatal if the bacterium enters the lungs, anthrax is usually treated by antibiotics. Anthrax is a potential weapon in germ warfare and bioterrorism.

Note: After the September 11 attacks (2001) in the United States, anthrax spores sent through the mail caused several fatalities.

Note: If spores are prepared in a sophisticated way, they can stay in the air and be breathed in by human beings. Anthrax produced in this way is referred to as weaponized anthrax.


Read Also:

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    anthracic anthracic an·thrac·ic (ān-thrās’ĭk) adj. Relating to anthrax.

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    a mineral coal containing little of the volatile hydrocarbons and burning almost without flame; hard coal. Historical Examples Since 1900 nearly 35,000 of them have come to America, settling mostly in the anthracite coal regions. Aliens or Americans? Howard B. Grose anthracite coal was known in this country only as a hard black rock. Checking […]

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    a disease of plants characterized by restricted, discolored lesions, caused by a fungus. Historical Examples “Boll rot,” or “anthracnose,” is a disease which may at times be sufficiently serious to destroy from 10 to 50% of the crop. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 5 Various The leaves would dry up and the berries […]

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