disease

noun
dis·​ease | \ di-ˈzēz How to pronounce disease (audio) \

Essential Meaning of disease

1 : an illness that affects a person, animal, or plant : a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally infectious/contagious diseases He suffers from a rare genetic disease. See More Examplesa deadly/debilitating disease a disease of the mind/kidneys diseases of poultry Thousands die of heart disease each year. They are working to stop the spread of disease in rural areas. gum/liver diseaseHide
2 : a problem that a person, group, organization, or society has and cannot stop The article cites intolerance as one of the most dangerous of society's diseases. He sees crime as a disease that too often plagues the poor and disadvantaged.

Full Definition of disease

1 : a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms : sickness, malady infectious diseases a rare genetic disease heart disease
2 : a harmful development (as in a social institution) sees the city's crime as a disease
3 obsolete : trouble

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of disease in a Sentence

He suffers from a rare genetic disease. a disease of the mind Thousands die of heart disease each year. They are working to stop the spread of disease in rural areas. The article cites intolerance as one of the most dangerous of society's diseases. He sees crime as a disease that too often plagues the poor and disadvantaged.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The consequences of diabetes include diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), nerve damage called neuropathy, skin and foot infections, loss of vision, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and heart disease and stroke. Corey Maloney, Health.com, 10 Sep. 2021 The litany of respiratory diseases also put many of them at risk for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which occurs at a higher rate in WTC survivors than in the general population. Roberto Lucchini, The Conversation, 10 Sep. 2021 The treatment is effective, and the campaign likely kept people out of the hospital, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist at Vanderbilt University. Steven Lemongello, orlandosentinel.com, 10 Sep. 2021 Now 80, he has been diagnosed over the years with acid reflux disease, asthma, and also thyroid cancer and skin melanoma, for which he was successfully treated. David B. Caruso, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Sep. 2021 The most common criteria were heart disease, conditions associated with blood clots, chronic kidney disease, and an age of 85 years or older. Ed Silverman, STAT, 10 Sep. 2021 No infection means no disease, no death, and no transmission, the absolute immunological trifecta. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 9 Sep. 2021 Cardiovascular Research, which improves the diagnosis, treatment and care for patients with cardiac and vascular disease, a leading cause of death in the United States. Dallas News, 9 Sep. 2021 Mikey passed away just before his third birthday from the neuromuscular disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. courant.com, 9 Sep. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of disease

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for disease

Middle English disese, from Anglo-French desease, desaise, from des- dis- + eise ease

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About disease

Time Traveler for disease

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near disease

disdiapason

disease

diseased

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for disease

Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disease. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for disease

disease

noun
dis·​ease | \ di-ˈzēz How to pronounce disease (audio) \

Kids Definition of disease

: a change in a living body (as of a person or plant) that prevents it from functioning normally : sickness

disease

noun
dis·​ease | \ diz-ˈēz How to pronounce disease (audio) \

Medical Definition of disease

: an impairment of the normal state of the living animal or plant body or one of its parts that interrupts or modifies the performance of the vital functions, is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms, and is a response to environmental factors (as malnutrition, industrial hazards, or climate), to specific infective agents (as worms, bacteria, or viruses), to inherent defects of the organism (as genetic anomalies), or to combinations of these factors : sickness, illness

called also morbus

— compare health sense 1

Other Words from disease

diseased \ -​ˈēzd How to pronounce disease (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on disease

Nglish: Translation of disease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disease for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!