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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Although great strides have since been made in treating H.I.V., approximately 1.1 million people in America live with the disease today. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The AIDS Memorial Quilt Is Heading Home to San Francisco," 23 Nov. 2019 The Assistance Fund, based in Orlando, says its mission is to help patients manage copays, coinsurance, deductibles, and other expenses related to their disease or chronic condition. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Patient charity settles allegations it helped MS drug makers pay kickbacks," 20 Nov. 2019 Two lost their battle with the disease; four others are survivors. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Katy family turns advocate after daughter diagnosed with kidney cancer," 6 Nov. 2019 Burgholzer met the three of us in a treatment room and spoke with a rasp—the only outward sign of his disease. Charles Schmidt, Scientific American, "Phage Therapy Could Beat Drug-Resistant Illnesses," 1 Nov. 2019 Over the years, advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of Wilms tumors have improved the prognosis for children with the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. San Antonio Express-News, "Becoming Bryce Strong," 31 Oct. 2019 One of the two children in Boston diagnosed with meningococcal disease is currently on life support, his mom told local media. Fox News, "Boston toddler diagnosed with meningococcal disease on life support, mom says," 26 Oct. 2019 Her husband decided to install an indoor pool to provide his wife with year-round access to swimming, thought to be one of the best exercises for people with her disease. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Hot Property: An indoor pool is the focus at this 4-bedroom northwest-side home," 25 Oct. 2019 And another 30 or so genes with more tentative links to schizophrenia overlapped with several genes implicated in autism spectrum disorder, suggesting a link with that disease. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Intensive DNA search yields 10 genes tied directly to schizophrenia," 25 Oct. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for disease

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for disease

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Disease.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diseased?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=d&file=diseas02. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for disease


How to pronounce disease (audio)

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


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


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

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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

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