hydrophobia late 14c., idroforbia, a symptom of rabies in man (sometimes used for the disease itself), from L.L. hydrophobia (Celsius, 50 C.E.), from Gk. hydrophobos "dreading water," from hydr-, stem of hydros "water" (see WATER (Cf. water) (n.1)) + phobos "dread, fear" (see PHOBIA (Cf. phobia)). So called because human sufferers show aversion to water and have difficulty swallowing it.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • hydrophobia — ► NOUN 1) extreme or irrational fear of water, especially as a symptom of rabies. 2) rabies …   English terms dictionary

  • hydrophobia — /huy dreuh foh bee euh/, n. 1. rabies. 2. an abnormal or unnatural dread of water. [1540 50; < LL < Gk hydrophobía. See HYDRO 1, PHOBIA] * * * …   Universalium

  • hydrophobia — hy•dro•pho•bi•a [[t]ˌhaɪ drəˈfoʊ bi ə[/t]] n. 1) pat rabies 2) psi an abnormal or unnatural dread of water • Etymology: 1540–50; < LL < Gk hydrophobía …   From formal English to slang

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