1. An infectious, usually fatal bacterial disease of cattle and sometimes of sheep, goats, and swine, caused by Clostridium chauvoei and characterized by gas-containing swellings in the musculature.
2. A bacterial or fungal disease of certain plants, such as the cabbage and potato, that causes the stems to turn black at the soil line.
3. One who cheats at cards; a cardsharp.
4. Chiefly British A worker who is opposed to trade unions; a scab.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.