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contagion (noun) the spread of a disease by people touching one another; a disease that spreads by contact; a bad thing that spreads like a contagion.
There are certain diseases like the common cold, which pass from person to person when there is contact between them. This kind of spreading is contagion. A disease that spreads from one person to another person when they touch each other is a contagion. Leprosy is a contagion because it spreads by contact. A bad influence, a bad practice, etc., that spreads among people is also a contagion. For example, the hatred of the Jews by the Nazis during the Second World War period spread like a contagion. That means, starting with the Nazis, the hatred spread among the other Germans.
- Contagions were more common in the olden days than now because of the vastly improved medical care and the progress in immunology in the modern times.
- Bad habits and vices like drugs, alcoholism, and smoking spread like a contagion in no time.