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Hydrophobia (n.) The disease caused by a bite form, or inoculation with the saliva of, a rabid creature, of which the chief symptoms are, a sense of dryness and construction in the throat, causing difficulty in deglutition, and a marked heightening of reflex excitability, producing convulsions whenever the patient attempts to swallow, or is disturbed in any way, as by the sight or sound of water; rabies; canine madness.