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 feverb : any of various diseases of birds and mammals caused by blood protozoans
malarialplay \-əl\ adjective
malariousplay \-əs\ adjective
Recent Examples of malaria from the Web
There are the first attacks of malaria my first month home.
One is about a billion and a half people—families, children—who live in malaria-prone areas.
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.
Origin and Etymology of malaria
Italian, from mala aria bad air
First Known Use: 1740See Words from the same year
MALARIA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of malaria for English Language Learners
medical : a serious disease that causes chills and fever and that is passed from one person to another by the bite of mosquitoes
MALARIA Defined for Kids
Definition of malaria for Students
: a serious disease with chills and fever that is spread by the bite of a mosquito
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 world—Journal 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
Seen and Heard
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