hy·​po·​chon·​dri·​ac | \ ˌhī-pə-ˈkän-drē-ˌak How to pronounce hypochondriac (audio) \

Definition of hypochondriac

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 anatomy : of, relating to, or being the two regions of the abdomen lying on either side of the epigastric region and above the lumbar regions



Definition of hypochondriac (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is often or always worried about his or her own health : a person affected by hypochondria or hypochondriasis … comparing America's addiction to polls to a hypochondriac's obsessive monitoring of his pulse rate.— Erica Goode Although a self-avowed hypochondriac, he actually did suffer from a variety of ailments …— Eugenia Zukerman

Examples of hypochondriac in a Sentence

Noun My brother is a real hypochondriac. Every time he reads about some new disease, he thinks he has it.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Instead of Williams’ crippled shut-in Laura fussing over her glass figurines in the absence of a husband or happy future, Durang’s version features Lawrence, a hypochondriac who prizes his collection of cocktail swizzle sticks. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Nov. 2021 Don’t worry about seeming like a pain or a hypochondriac. Essence, 2 Oct. 2021 Goosed along by Cliff Martinez’s ghostly electronic score, Soderbergh taps into our collective inner hypochondriac, making every character’s sniffle or rubbed eye bristle with potential danger. Tim Grierson, Vulture, 7 July 2021 As seen on the show, Todd is somewhat of a hypochondriac. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, 24 Aug. 2020 As with any adaptation, the script takes liberties: As Emma's hypochondriac father, Bill Nighy is sprightly, very nearly froggy. Ted Scheinman, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Mar. 2020 People with traditionally hypochondriac tendencies usually have generalized anxiety about illnesses and symptoms, rather than about one particular disease. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 27 Feb. 2020 The best part: the hypochondriac is played by Asa Butterfield, one of my 10 underrated crushes of 2019. Kathleen Newman-bremang, refinery29.com, 14 June 2019 Sidney is a dashing antihero and Arthur a reserved hypochondriac. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, 13 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hypochondriac.' 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 hypochondriac


1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1639, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hypochondriac


earlier, "arising in the hypochondria (organs of the upper abdomen behind the ribs)," borrowed from Middle French hypochondriaque, borrowed from Medieval Latin hypochondriacus, borrowed from Greek hypochondriakós, from hypochóndria + -akos -ac — more at hypochondria


borrowed from Middle French hypochondriaque, noun derivative of hypochondriaque hypochondriac entry 1

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The first known use of hypochondriac was in 1599

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Cite this Entry

“Hypochondriac.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypochondriac. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for hypochondriac



English Language Learners Definition of hypochondriac

: a person who is often or always worried about being ill


hy·​po·​chon·​dri·​ac | \ -drē-ˌak How to pronounce hypochondriac (audio) \

Medical Definition of hypochondriac

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2a : situated below the costal cartilages
b : of, relating to, or being the two abdominal regions lying on either side of the epigastric region and above the lumbar regions



Medical Definition of hypochondriac (Entry 2 of 2)

: an individual affected with hypochondria or hypochondriasis A person can be said to be a hypochondriac when his or her preoccupation with health or disease is so intense that it disrupts normal living habits and is disproportionate to any medical problems that actually exist.People Weekly


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