ma·lar·ia | \mə-ˈler-ē-ə \

Definition of malaria 

1 archaic : air infected with a noxious substance capable of causing disease especially : miasma

2a : a human disease that is caused by sporozoan parasites (genus Plasmodium) in the red blood cells, is transmitted by the bite of anopheline mosquitoes, and is characterized by periodic attacks of chills and fever

b : any of various diseases of birds and mammals caused by blood protozoans

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Other Words from malaria

malarial \-əl \ adjective
malarious \-əs \ adjective

Examples of malaria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Mosquitoes spread malaria, a disease that sickens more than 200 million people each year and kills 430,000. Anthony A. James, STAT, "Gene-drive technology must be developed in a safe, ethical way," 10 July 2018 There are over 200 rapid diagnostic test products for malaria on the market, according to the WHO. Washington Post, "Non-invasive malaria test wins Africa engineering prize," 24 June 2018 Shooting with a handheld camera, Midi Z is present only as a disembodied, deadpan voice offscreen (except in a scene where he is being treated for virulent malaria), creating an observational subjectivity that makes the viewer part of the story. Peter Keough,, "Gender-bending ballet, ground-breaking theater, and Burmese brothers," 31 May 2018 At first, he was treated for malaria and returned home. David Mckenzie, CNN, "Fear and failure: How Ebola sparked a global health revolution," 26 May 2018 The remaining 55 are tests for diseases the W.H.O. considers of highest priority: H.I.V., tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HPV and syphilis. New York Times, "For First Time, W.H.O. Names Some Lab Tests ‘Essential’," 21 May 2018 Between 2006 and 2016, years of life affected by disease or early death fell by 44% for HIV/AIDS, 27% for malaria and 23% for tuberculosis. The Economist, "The epidemiological transition is now spreading to the emerging world," 26 Apr. 2018 Africa and South Asia are hot zones for malaria, though about 1,700 cases are diagnosed in the United States each year, mostly in travelers. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "A pill could make your blood poisonous to mosquitoes, research shows | The Sacramento Bee," 29 Mar. 2018 While working as a research assistant in 1856, Perkin was attempting to create quinine, then a popular treatment for malaria. Katherine Eisenbrand,, "Who Was Google Doodle Subject William Henry Perkin? All About His Colorful Discovery," 12 Mar. 2018

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

1740, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for malaria

Italian, from mala aria bad air

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Statistics for malaria

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for malaria

The first known use of malaria was in 1740

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More Definitions for malaria



English Language Learners Definition of malaria

medical : a serious disease that causes chills and fever and that is passed from one person to another by the bite of mosquitoes


ma·lar·ia | \mə-ˈler-ē-ə \

Kids Definition of malaria

: a serious disease with chills and fever that is spread by the bite of a mosquito


ma·lar·ia | \mə-ˈler-ē-ə \

Medical Definition of malaria 

1 : an acute or chronic disease caused by the presence of sporozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium in the red blood cells, transmitted from an infected to an uninfected individual by the bite of anopheline mosquitoes, and characterized by periodic attacks of chills and fever that coincide with mass destruction of blood cells and the release of toxic substances by the parasite at the end of each reproductive cycle malaria remains the greatest single cause of debilitation and death throughout the worldJournal of the American Medical Association — see falciparum malaria, vivax malaria

2 : any of various diseases of birds and mammals that are more or less similar to malaria of human beings and are caused by blood protozoans

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