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Old French leprous, lepros, (French lépreux), from Latin leprosus, from lepra, leprae, leprosy. See also leper.


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leprous (comparative more leprous, superlative most leprous)

  1. Relating to or infected with one of the diseases known as leprosy.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Numbers 12:10,[1]
      And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
    • 1748, Philip Luckombe, A Tour Through Ireland, London: T. Lowndes & Son, 1783, Journey the Fourth, p. 324,[2]
      [] a dissenting minister [] came to this well, over-run with leprous eruptions on the skin, which had rendered his joints so rigid, that he could neither hold his bridle, nor feed himself []
    • 1880, Lew Wallace, Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Book Six, Chapter 1,[3]
      ‘If they die,’ he said, ‘the cell shall be their tomb. They were put there to die, and be lost. The cell is leprous. Do you understand?’
    • 1882, Oscar Wilde, “The English Renaissance of Art,” in Essays and Lectures, London: Methuen & Co., 4th edition, 1913,[4]
      Nor shall the art which you and I need be merely a purple robe woven by a slave and thrown over the whitened body of some leprous king to adorn or to conceal the sin of his luxury, but rather shall it be the noble and beautiful expression of a people’s noble and beautiful life.
  2. (archaic) Morally infectious or infected.
  3. Appearing decayed, having the appearance of infection by leprosy.
    • 1611, King James Version, Exodus 4:6:
      And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.
    • 1961, V. S. Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas, Vintage International, 2001, Prologue,
      And why, except that it had moved everywhere with them and they regarded it as one of their possessions, had they kept the hatrack, its glass now leprous, most of its hooks broken, its woodwork ugly with painting-over?
    • 1974, “Drab Cab Goes Fab,” Time, 8 April, 1974,[7]
      With little room to maneuver or park private cars, New Yorkers are more desperately dependent on taxis than any other city dwellers in the world. And the thousands of cabs that they ride are among the world's sleaziest: cigarette butts and paper coffee cups on the floor, dirty windows, leprous upholstery, chewed gum and sticky candy wrappers on ripped seats, and jagged metal protrusions on the doors waiting to savage the clothing of entering or departing passengers.





Old FrenchEdit


leprous m (oblique and nominative feminine singular leprouse)

  1. leprous; having leprosy



leprous m

  1. a leper