What is a cafard?

What is a cafard? Here are some definitions.

Noun
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Examples
There hasn't been a case of cafard on this ship since I've been ship's doctor.
The germ of madness, of tragedy, always lies hidden in the cafard.
They mustn't go to the places where the cafard would take him.
Some of the crew have been showing signs of cafard, which is a space sickness generated by long stretches in space without relief or suitable activities of interest.
At such times when the cafard of the city seized her, I was at my wits' end to devise a means of rousing her.
Officers of the Legion old enough to have won a few medals seemed to respect the cafard and make allowances for his deadly work.

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