di·​ar·​rhea | \ ˌdī-ə-ˈrē-ə How to pronounce diarrhea (audio) \

Definition of diarrhea

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

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Other Words from diarrhea

diarrheal \ ˌdī-​ə-​ˈrē-​əl How to pronounce diarrheal (audio) \ adjective
diarrheic \ ˌdī-​ə-​ˈrē-​ik How to pronounce diarrheic (audio) \ adjective
diarrhetic \ ˌdī-​ə-​ˈre-​tik How to pronounce diarrhetic (audio) \ 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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said symptoms include nausea, cramps and watery diarrhea that can last up to three weeks and lead to serious malnutrition and dehydration. Cindy Krischer Goodman, sun-sentinel.com, "Don’t be paranoid, but you possibly could get sick from poop parasites in the pool," 3 July 2019 Exposure doesn’t always lead to illness, but some strains can lead to fever, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and, in extreme cases, organ failure. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "O.C. Fair emphasizes hand-washing after child illnesses and death linked to animals at San Diego County Fair," 1 July 2019 While most strains of E. coli are harmless, some are pathogenic and can cause illness, which typically includes stomach cramps and diarrhea, according to the CDC. Fox News, "Child exposed to E. coli at San Diego County Fair dies, 3 others sickened: officials," 30 June 2019 These infections — known as STEC — cause severe abdominal cramps, watery or bloody diarrhea and vomiting with or without a fever. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Animal exhibits closed at fair following E.coli death of 2-year-old boy," 29 June 2019 Norovirus is highly contagious, and common symptoms are vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, and watery, non-bloody diarrhea. oregonlive.com, "WinCo Foods recalls frozen red raspberries for potential Norovirus," 17 June 2019 In some cases, the transplants have worked quickly and saved the lives of patients who were wasting away with uncontrollable diarrhea. Denise Grady, New York Times, "Fecal Transplant Is Linked to a Patient’s Death, the F.D.A. Warns," 13 June 2019 Some of the ones that help with diarrhea also help with constipation. Beth Janes, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Probiotics, According to Experts," 11 May 2019 And if anyone had known that Jordan’s friend Sally would go home from school that day with diarrhea, Sally’s parents wouldn’t have volunteered to bring a dish for the neighborhood potluck. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Seven scary stories to tell by the light of your screen," 31 Oct. 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

14 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce diarrhea (audio) \

Kids Definition of diarrhea

: abnormally frequent and watery bowel movements


variants: or chiefly British diarrhoea \ ˌdī-​ə-​ˈrē-​ə How to pronounce diarrhoea (audio) \

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).


food or victuals

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