mal·a·dy | \ ˈma-lə-dē \
plural maladies

Definition of malady 

1 : a disease or disorder of the animal body told by his physicians that he had a fatal malady —Willa Cather

2 : an unwholesome or disordered condition poverty, homelessness, and other social maladies

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Examples of malady in a Sentence

in the olden days people were always suffering from some unknown malady

Recent Examples on the Web

Heading into Monday’s round of 16 clash with Brazil, Mexico has departed at this juncture six times in a row, finding various methods of malady and misfortune but with always the same result. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Why the World Cup hurts so much for Mexico," 1 July 2018 But the economy suffers from multiple maladies, including high public debt, an unaffordable pension system that funnels money to the relatively well off, and low productivity. The Economist, "Colombia’s new president is burdened with political baggage," 20 June 2018 Overexertion could also cause tuberculosis, scoliosis, hernias, heart disease, and other maladies, doctors believed. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Wheel, the Woman, and the Human Body," 6 July 2018 Most physicians — though not all — say the malady is psychogenic, which only intensifies the victims’ desperation and deterioration. Peter Keough,, "An unflinching look at ‘The Pain of Others’," 28 June 2018 Registered providers in Maryland can recommend it to patients with specific maladies such as pain or wasting disorders. Meredith Cohn,, "Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Mount Vernon, co-owned by Hopkins medical professor," 20 June 2018 But diagnosing a newborn is challenging because many symptoms aren’t pronounced, or are similar to symptoms for a wide range of maladies. Dana Wechsler Linden, WSJ, "DNA Testing Offers New Hope for Infants With Genetic Disease," 28 May 2018 This set of rules also curbed the practice of medically disqualifying players whose malady was not being good enough to keep occupying a scholarship. Andy Staples,, "The Latest Evidence That Nick Saban Lives in His Competitors' Heads," 21 May 2018 This seasonal malady is a common canine and feline skin condition. Patty Khuly, miamiherald, "As spring blooms, your dogs and cats can suffer skin allergies | Miami Herald," 21 Feb. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for malady

Middle English maladie, from Anglo-French, from malade sick, from Latin male habitus in bad condition

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Statistics for malady

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for malady

The first known use of malady was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for malady



English Language Learners Definition of malady

: a disease or illness


mal·a·dy | \ ˈma-lə-dē \
plural maladies

Kids Definition of malady

: a disease or disorder of the body or mind


mal·a·dy | \ ˈmal-əd-ē \
plural maladies

Medical Definition of malady 

: disease, sickness a fatal malady

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More from Merriam-Webster on malady

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for malady

Spanish Central: Translation of malady

Nglish: Translation of malady for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of malady for Arabic Speakers

Comments on malady

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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