Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Word origin of 'diphtheria'ModL < Fr diphtherie (so named (1855) by A. Trousseau (1801-67), Fr physician, replacing earlier diphthérite, first used (1821) by P. Bretonneau (1778-1862), Fr physician) < Gr diphthera, leather < dephein, to tan hides < IE base *deph-, to knead, stamp > Arm topʼel, to strike