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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 © 2015
mea•sles /ˈmizəlz/USA pronunciation   n. [uncountable;
used with a singular verb]

        an acute infectious disease characterized by small red spots on the skin, fever, and coldlike symptoms.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
mea•sles  (mēzəlz), 
    (used with a sing. or pl. v.)[Pathol.]
      • an acute infectious disease occurring mostly in children, characterized by catarrhal and febrile symptoms and an eruption of small red spots;
      • any of certain other eruptive diseases. Cf.German measles. 
    1. Veterinary Diseases[Vet. Pathol.]a disease in swine and other animals caused by the larvae of certain tapeworms of the genus Taenia.
    1. Invertebrates(used with a pl. v.) the larvae that cause measles in swine and other animals, and that upon maturation produce trichinosis in humans.
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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