dis·​ease di-ˈzēz How to pronounce disease (audio)
: 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
: a harmful development (as in a social institution)
sees the city's crime as a disease
obsolete : trouble

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Healthspan refers to the number of years an individual can live without being hampered by disease. Molly Peck, USA TODAY, 12 May 2024 Only one person — a Texas dairy worker infected in March — has so far been reported to have acquired the disease from cattle. Susanne Rust, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for disease 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disease.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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

Dictionary Entries Near disease

Cite this Entry

“Disease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disease. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​ease diz-ˈēz How to pronounce disease (audio)
: an abnormal bodily condition of a living plant or animal that interferes with functioning and can usually be recognized by signs and symptoms : illness
diseased adjective

Medical Definition


dis·​ease diz-ˈēz How to pronounce disease (audio)
: 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
diseased adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on disease

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