dys·​pep·​sia dis-ˈpep-shə How to pronounce dyspepsia (audio)
: ill humor : disgruntlement
dyspeptic adjective or noun
dyspeptically adverb

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When people get indigestion, they are often affected by nausea, heartburn, and gas-things that can cause the world's greatest gastronome to curse the world's most delectable dishes. So, it is no wonder that dyspepsia, a word for indigestion, has also come to mean "ill humor" or "disgruntlement." The word itself is ultimately derived from the Greek prefix dys- ("faulty" or "impaired") and the verb pessein ("to cook" or "to digest"). To please the wordmonger's appetite, we would like to end with this tasty morsel: Dyspepsia has an opposite, eupepsia-a rarely used word meaning "good digestion."

Examples of dyspepsia in a Sentence

He is suffering from dyspepsia.
Recent Examples on the Web These included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dyspepsia (pain or heaviness in the stomach), and bloating. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 24 Sep. 2023 The team recruited 206 people with functional dyspepsia, or chronic indigestion, and assigned them to one of three groups. Kristen Fischer, Health, 24 Sep. 2023 Wes Anderson, based on a short story by Roald Dahl 40 minutes Like the rich food at restaurants aspiring to Michelin stars, every shot here might feel over-flavored for the Anderson-averse, prompting a sort of cinematic dyspepsia. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Sep. 2023 But more commonly, chronic indigestion is known as functional dyspepsia—or indigestion without a known health problem behind it, per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Women's Health, 12 Apr. 2023 There is particularly little evidence to support their use for back pain, fibromyalgia, functional dyspepsia (chronic indigestion), non-cardiac chest pain, and IBS. Claire Bugos, Verywell Health, 1 Mar. 2023 The various ailments that plague the members of the family disappear—Eva’s intractable eczema, her husband’s dyspepsia, their older son’s nausea and vomiting spells. Perri Klass, The New Yorker, 27 Feb. 2023 The Europeans who encountered indigenous people in Mexico in the 1500s noted that chocolate was used to treat numerous ailments ranging from dysentery and indigestion, to fatigue and dyspepsia. Jeffrey Miller, oregonlive, 9 Aug. 2022 Take for example an experiment that administered capsaicin to volunteers with functional dyspepsia as well as healthy folks. Patrick Wilson, Outside Online, 21 Aug. 2020 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from Latin, borrowed from Greek dyspepsía, from dys- dys- + pépsis "cooking, ripening, digestion" (from pep-, base of péttein, péssein, péptein "to cook, ripen, digest" + -sis -sis) + -ia -ia entry 1 — more at cook entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1706, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dyspepsia was circa 1706


Dictionary Entries Near dyspepsia




Cite this Entry

“Dyspepsia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dyspepsia. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


dys·​pep·​sia dis-ˈpep-shə How to pronounce dyspepsia (audio)

Medical Definition


dys·​pep·​sia dis-ˈpep-shə How to pronounce dyspepsia (audio) -sē-ə How to pronounce dyspepsia (audio)
: indigestion
Dyspepsia occasionally resolves itself without any need for medical intervention.Patricia Hittner, Better Homes and Gardens

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