What does the word murrain mean?

Usage examples for murrain

  1. Thou deemest thyself wiser than we are; we wretched hags, whom the ceorl seeks when his herd has the murrain, or the girl when her false love forsakes her; we, who have no dwelling known to man; but are found at need in the wold or the cave, or the side of dull slimy streams where the murderess- mother hath drowned her babe. – Harold, Complete The Last Of The Saxon Kings by Edward Bulwer-Lytton