disease

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

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

Other Words from disease

diseased \ di-​ˈzēzd How to pronounce diseased (audio) \ adjective

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

Brittany and her colleagues met with state and federal experts about how to stop the wildfire spread of the disease. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "These Small-Town Heroes Are Helping Their Communities Thrive," 2 Apr. 2019 But according to new research, in the years immediately following childbirth, women are actually at a small, heightened risk of the disease. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Having kids leads to a small, but significant, increased risk of breast cancer," 14 Dec. 2018 Because of its high recurrence rate (50-80 percent), patients must be monitored frequently for recurrence or progression of the disease. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Just pee in a cup for bladder cancer detection," 10 Dec. 2018 Type 1 of the disease is associated with systemic inflammation. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 Recently, there has been a resurgence of severe cases of the disease in Appalachian mines, thought in part to be caused by thinner coal seams and more powerful equipment that kicks up more dust. Washington Post, "Feds: Kentucky coal mine supervisors cheated on dust samples," 11 July 2018 Even today, three years later, a case of Zika causes fear to spread as fast as the news of the disease does. Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle, "NASA is building models to predict mosquito-borne illnesses and you can help them do it," 3 July 2018 Bats and skunks are the most common carriers of the disease in Michigan. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan health officials see uptick in bats with rabies," 3 July 2018 Sunburns raise your risk for permanent skin damage and certain diseases, including premature aging, precancerous skin lesions, and skin cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How Long a Sunburn Lasts Before Fading Away — And How to Make It Heal Faster," 17 Apr. 2019

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

Statistics for disease

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disease

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for disease

disease

noun

English Language Learners Definition of disease

: an illness that affects a person, animal, or plant : a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally
: a problem that a person, group, organization, or society has and cannot stop

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 diseased (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on disease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disease

Spanish Central: Translation of disease

Nglish: Translation of disease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disease for Arabic Speakers

Comments on disease

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

WORD OF THE DAY

one that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!