From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
Contagious disease \Con*ta"gious dis*ease"\ (Med.) A disease communicable by contact with a patient suffering from it, or with some secretion of, or object touched by, such a patient. Most such diseases have already been proved to be germ diseases, and their communicability depends on the transmission of the living germs. Many germ diseases are not contagious, some special method of transmission or inoculation of the germs being required. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
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