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To the Editor:—
I am somehow disturbed whenever I see fungous used to mean caused by a fungus, as in "The Biology of Fungous Infections of the Feet" (197:1017, 1966). I admit that this usage does occur in medical literature, and that Webster gives "caused by a fungus" as its second definition of the word. Some further justification might be argued on the ground that "full of" is included among the various meanings of the English suffix -ous. Thus, fungous disease is full of fungi. But I believe the usual meaning is still "of the nature of or resembling a fungus." This is the only definition given in the 1965 edition of Dorland's Medical Dictionary.I view the two meanings as separate and distinct, but perhaps the authors of the article cited do mean that infection and disease caused by a fungus are "like a fungus."What alternatives have
Dancey RJ. Fungal? Fungous?. JAMA. 1966;198(8):954. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110210204063