noun (used with a singular verb) Pathology, Veterinary Pathology.

  1. a contagious skin disease occurring especially in sheep and cattle and also in humans, caused by the itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, which burrows under the skin.Compare itch(def 10), mange.


  1. a contagious skin infection caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, characterized by intense itching, inflammation, and the formation of vesicles and pustules disease, “the itch,” c.1400, from Latin scabies “mange, itch, roughness,” from scabere “to scratch, scrape,” from PIE root *(s)kep-, a base forming words meaning “to cut, scrape, hack” (cf. Gothic scaban, Old English sceafan “to scrape, shave;” Greek skaptein “to dig;” “Old Church Slavonic skobli “scraper;” Lithuanian skabus “sharp,” skabeti “to cut;” Lettish skabrs “splintery, sharp”). Related: Scabious. adj.

  1. Relating to or affected with scabies.


  1. A contagious skin disease caused by Sarcoptes scabiei and characterized by intense itching.
  2. A similar disease in animals.

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