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measles used with a singular or plural verb

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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
mea•sles /ˈmizəlz/USA pronunciation   n. [uncountable;  used with a singular verb]
  1. Pathology
    • an acute infectious disease characterized by small red spots on the skin, fever, and coldlike symptoms.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
mea•sles  (mēzəlz),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Pathology(used with a sing. or pl. v.)
    • an acute infectious disease occurring mostly in children, characterized by catarrhal and febrile symptoms and an eruption of small red spots;
      rubeola.
    • any of certain other eruptive diseases. Cf.  German measles. 
  2. Veterinary Diseasesa disease in swine and other animals caused by the larvae of certain tapeworms of the genus Taenia.
  3. Invertebrates(used with a pl. v.) the larvae that cause measles in swine and other animals, and that upon maturation produce trichinosis in humans.
  • 1275–1325; Middle English mesels, variant of maseles (plural); cognate with Dutch maselen (plural), Middle Dutch masel; akin to German Masern measles, plural of Maser speck


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

measles /ˈmiːzəlz/ n (functioning as singular or plural)
  1. a highly contagious viral disease common in children, characterized by fever, profuse nasal discharge of mucus, conjunctivitis, and a rash of small red spots spreading from the forehead down to the limbs
    See also German measles
  2. a disease of cattle, sheep, and pigs, caused by infestation with tapeworm larvae
Etymology: 14th Century: from Middle Low German masele spot on the skin; influenced by Middle English mesel leper, from Latin misellus, diminutive of miser wretched




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