Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Ebola - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [uncountable] medical     Ebola pronunciation in British English

or Ebola virus     Ebola virus pronunciation in British English

  1. a serious disease that causes you to lose blood from all parts of your body and has a very high death rate
Word story
The name ’Ebola’ was given to the disease in 1976 by people who were researching the early outbreaks. It comes from the Lingala language of central Africa and means ’dark river’.

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play