An outbreak of virulent plague, especially its bubonic form, that killed large numbers of people throughout Europe and much of Asia in the 14th century.
[Ultimately translation of Scandinavian terms for the bubonic plague, such as Swedish (den) svarta döden, (the) black death (possibly in reference to the dark lesions and gangrene caused by bubonic plague, or to the general gloom prevailing during epidemics ) : svart, black + död, death.]
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