ETYM Latin dysenteria, Greek; dys- ill, bad + enteron intestines, from entos within.
An infection of the intestines marked by severe diarrhea.
Infection of the large intestine causing abdominal cramps and painful diarrhea with blood. There are two kinds of dysentery: amebic (caused by a protozoan), common in the tropics, which may lead to liver damage; and bacterial, the kind most often seen in the temperate zones.
Both forms are successfully treated with antibacterials and fluids to prevent dehydration.