Medical Definition of Leper

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Leper: 1. Someone with leprosy (Hansen disease). The term leper is now in disfavor. 2. By extension, a pariah. A person who is avoided or shunned by society.
From the French lepre, from the Greek lepros meaning scaly, referring to the scales that form on the skin in some cases of leprosy.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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