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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Measle \Mea"sle\, n. [OE. mesel, OF. mesel, LL. misellus, L. misellus unfortunate, dim. of miser. See Miser.] A leper. [Obs.] [Written also meazel, and mesel.]
--Wyclif (Matt. x. 8. ).

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"leprous" (adj.); "a leper" (n.); both c.1300, from Old French mesel "wretched, leprous; a wretch," from Latin misellus "wretched, unfortunate," as a noun, "a wretch," in Medieval Latin, "a leper," diminutive of miser "wretched, unfortunate, miserable" (see miser). Also from Latin misellus are Old Italian misello "sick, leprous," Catalan mesell "sick."


a. (context obsolete English) Having leprosy; leprous. (14th-17th c.) n. 1 (context obsolete English) A leper. (14th-16th c.) 2 (context obsolete English) A wretched or revolting person. (14th-16th c.) 3 (context obsolete English) leprosy. (15th-16th c.)