di·​ar·​rhea | \ˌdī-ə-ˈrē-ə \

Definition of diarrhea 

1 : abnormally frequent intestinal evacuations with more or less fluid stools (see stool entry 1 sense 3b) symptoms include fever, nausea, and diarrhea

2 : excessive flow verbal diarrhea

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Other Words from diarrhea

diarrheal \-​ˈrē-​əl \ adjective
diarrheic \-​ˈrē-​ik \ adjective
diarrhetic \-​ˈre-​tik \ adjective

Examples of diarrhea in a Sentence

The symptoms of the disease include fever, nausea, and diarrhea. I was taken with severe diarrhea while attending the conference.

Recent Examples on the Web

Exposure to blue-green algae can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever, muscle weakness and difficulty breathing. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pewaukee beach has reopened following algae testing, removal," 29 June 2018 Side effects of Ambien include: Nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and/or diarrhea. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Roseanne Barr blames Ambien for racist tweet. What are the drug's real side effects?," 30 May 2018 The reported strain of E. coli, which produces poisonous substances known as Shiga toxins, can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Anchorage Daily News, "E. coli outbreak turns deadly with fatal case in California," 3 May 2018 Five to seven days of cramps and bloody diarrhea usually follow. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak update: now 121 sick in 25 states, first death reported | Miami Herald," 2 May 2018 Officials warned the outbreak of E. coli is particularly virulent, with symptoms including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Leada Gore, AL.com, "Romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak: 1 death reported; illness spreads to 3 more states," 2 May 2018 Symptoms, which can appear in one to 10 days after exposure, often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Debbi Snook, cleveland.com, "Another Ohio illness linked to tainted Romaine lettuce," 26 Apr. 2018 Symptoms can appear on average after three to four days, and usually include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "CDC warns people to avoid 'all types of romaine lettuce' as E. coli outbreak continues," 20 Apr. 2018 In general, Salmonella causes fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Raw sprouts at Jimmy John’s linked to another outbreak—at least the 7th," 23 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diarrhea.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of diarrhea

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diarrhea

Middle English diaria, from Late Latin diarrhoea, from Greek diarrhoia, from diarrhein to flow through, from dia- + rhein to flow — more at stream

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Statistics for diarrhea

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for diarrhea

The first known use of diarrhea was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for diarrhea



English Language Learners Definition of diarrhea

medical : an illness that causes you to pass waste from your body very frequently and in liquid rather than solid form


di·​ar·​rhea | \ˌdī-ə-ˈrē-ə \

Kids Definition of diarrhea

: abnormally frequent and watery bowel movements


variants: or chiefly British diarrhoea \ˌdī-​ə-​ˈrē-​ə \

Medical Definition of diarrhea 

: abnormally frequent intestinal evacuations with more or less fluid stools

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Comments on diarrhea

What made you want to look up diarrhea? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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