pl.n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
An acute viral infection characterized by inflammation of the sensory ganglia of certain spinal or cranial nerves and the eruption of vesicles along the affected nerve path. It usually strikes only one side of the body and is often accompanied by severe neuralgia. Also called herpes zoster.
[Middle English, alteration (influenced by Old French cengles, pl. of cengle, shingles, and by Old French sengle, single, chingle, belt) of Medieval Latin cingulus (translation of Greek zōstēr, girdle, shingles, from the fact that the inflammation often extends around the middle of the body), variant of Latin cingulum, girdle, from cingere, to gird; see kenk- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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