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noun mal·aise \mə-ˈlāz, ma-, -ˈlez\

Simple Definition of malaise

  • medical : a slight or general feeling of not being healthy or happy

  • : a problem or condition that harms or weakens a group, society, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of malaise

  1. 1 :  an indefinite feeling of debility or lack of health often indicative of or accompanying the onset of an illness

  2. 2 :  a vague sense of mental or moral ill-being <a malaise of cynicism and despair — Malcolm Boyd>

Examples of malaise in a sentence

  1. The symptoms include headache, malaise, and fatigue.

  2. An infected person will feel a general malaise.

  3. The country's current economic problems are symptoms of a deeper malaise.

Did You Know?

Malaise, which ultimately traces back to Old French, has been part of English since the mid-18th century. One of its most notable uses, however, came in 1979 - well, sort of. President Jimmy Carter never actually used the word in his July 15 televised address, but it became known as the malaise speech all the same. In the speech, Carter described the U.S. as a nation facing a crisis of confidence and rife with paralysis and stagnation and drift. He spoke of a national malaise a few days later, and it's not hard to see why the malaise name stuck. The speech was praised by some and criticized by many others, but whatever your politics, it remains a vivid illustration of the meaning of malaise.

Origin and Etymology of malaise

French malaise, from Old French, from mal- + aise comfort — more at ease

First Known Use: circa 1768

Medical Dictionary


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noun mal·aise \mə-ˈlāz, ma-, -ˈlez\

Medical Definition of malaise

  1. :  an indefinite feeling of debility or lack of health often indicative of or accompanying the onset of an illness <fever, malaise, and other flulike symptoms—Larry Thompson>

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of or relating to the heavens

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