WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
ter•tian  (tûrshən), 
  1. Pathology[Pathol.](of a malarial fever, etc.) characterized by paroxysms that recur every other day.

  1. Pathology[Pathol.]a tertian fever.
  2. Religiona Jesuit during the period of tertianship.
  • Latin (febris) tertiāna tertian (fever), equivalent. to terti(us) third + -āna, feminine of -ānus -an
  • Middle English terciane 1325–75

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

tertian /ˈtɜːʃən/ adj
  1. (of a fever or the symptoms of a disease, esp malaria) occurring every other day
  1. a tertian fever or symptoms
Etymology: 14th Century: from Latin febris tertiāna fever occurring every third day, reckoned inclusively, from tertius third

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