malaise

noun
mal·​aise | \ mə-ˈlāz How to pronounce malaise (audio) , ma-, -ˈlez How to pronounce malaise (audio) \

Definition of malaise

1 : an indefinite feeling of debility or lack of health often indicative of or accompanying the onset of an illness An infected person will feel a general malaise.
2 : a vague sense of mental or moral ill-being a malaise of cynicism and despair— Malcolm Boyd

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Did You Know?

Malaise, which ultimately traces back to Old French, has been part of English since the mid-18th century. One of its most notable uses, however, came in 1979 - well, sort of. President Jimmy Carter never actually used the word in his July 15 televised address, but it became known as the malaise speech all the same. In the speech, Carter described the U.S. as a nation facing a crisis of confidence and rife with paralysis and stagnation and drift. He spoke of a national malaise a few days later, and it's not hard to see why the malaise name stuck. The speech was praised by some and criticized by many others, but whatever your politics, it remains a vivid illustration of the meaning of malaise.

Examples of malaise in a Sentence

The symptoms include headache, malaise, and fatigue. An infected person will feel a general malaise. The country's current economic problems are symptoms of a deeper malaise.
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Recent Examples on the Web

On days when this mental malaise strikes, just commit to five minutes, or simply go to the gym with the intention of doing just one to two simple things. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "13 Mental Strategies to Help You Stick With Your New Exercise Routine," 4 Jan. 2019 Cleveland's gone through at least one (if not multiple) periods of malaise during the regular season in each of its three Finals runs. Joe Vardon, cleveland.com, "Isaiah Thomas: Cavaliers' midseason lulls 'unacceptable'," 10 Jan. 2018 Over the millennia, the inhalation or application of potent-smelling plant extracts has been used to ease everything from muscle aches to migraines to mental malaise. April Long, Marie Claire, "Aromatherapy Perfumes: Do They Really Work?," 20 Feb. 2019 The cruelty of baseball, as A.J. Hinch described it, plunged Springer deeper into a hitting malaise. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Astros have plenty of confidence in slumping George Springer," 26 June 2018 The Wizards are not deep and often settle into a mediocre malaise. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "2018 NBA Playoffs: The Biggest Questions For Each Series," 12 Apr. 2018 This willingness to experiment without feeling beholden to fan expectations about what games should be sold or shared makes Itchio feel like a garden of digital possibility, one unburdened by corporate overlords or the growing malaise of loot boxes. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The game store that outshines Steam by staying small and weird," 29 Nov. 2018 Conservative under Reagan had become a potent force, a liberating optimistic and patriotic alternative to the malaise and pessimism of the 1970s. Fox News, "Laura Ingraham announces new segment 'Defending the First'," 10 Apr. 2018 Salah is considered a national hero in Egypt, where many see him as a rare success story at a time of economic malaise and political repression. Hamza Hendawi And Samy Magdy, Fox News, "Salah takes on Egyptian federation over World Cup debacle," 30 Aug. 2018

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

1768, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for malaise

French malaise, from Old French, from mal- + aise comfort — more at ease

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Statistics for malaise

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for malaise

The first known use of malaise was in 1768

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More Definitions for malaise

malaise

noun

English Language Learners Definition of malaise

medical : a slight or general feeling of not being healthy or happy
: a problem or condition that harms or weakens a group, society, etc.

malaise

noun
mal·​aise | \ mə-ˈlāz How to pronounce malaise (audio) , ma- How to pronounce malaise (audio) , -ˈlez\

Medical Definition of malaise

: an indefinite feeling of debility or lack of health often indicative of or accompanying the onset of an illness fever, malaise, and other flu-like symptoms— Larry Thompson

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More from Merriam-Webster on malaise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with malaise

Spanish Central: Translation of malaise

Nglish: Translation of malaise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of malaise for Arabic Speakers

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