pox

Pox \Pox\, n. [For pocks, OE. pokkes. See {Pock}. It is plural in form but is used as a singular.] (Med.) Strictly, a disease by pustules or eruptions of any kind, but chiefly or wholly restricted to three or four diseases, -- the smallpox, the chicken pox, and the vaccine and the venereal diseases. [1913 Webster] Note: Pox, when used without an epithet, as in imprecations, formerly signified smallpox; but it now signifies syphilis. [1913 Webster]