ma·​lar·​ia | \ mə-ˈler-ē-ə How to pronounce malaria (audio) \

Definition of malaria

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

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Other Words from malaria

malarial \ mə-​ˈler-​ē-​əl How to pronounce malarial (audio) \ adjective
malarious \ mə-​ˈler-​ē-​əs How to pronounce malarious (audio) \ adjective

Examples of malaria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Already, a lack of vaccines has led to the resurgence of preventable diseases like malaria and measles. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Could the Coronavirus Topple Nicolas Maduro's Regime in Venezuela?," 20 Mar. 2020 The drug, first created in the 1940s, has been used to treat and prevent malaria, arthritis, and lupus. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "Fauci and Trump struggle to stay on same page about possible coronavirus treatment," 20 Mar. 2020 Other potential treatments for the coronavirus are under investigation, including a drug used to treat malaria, called chloroquine, and a combination of HIV drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir, sold under the brand name Kaletra. NBC News, "Experimental drug holds promise for treating the coronavirus," 19 Mar. 2020 The 150 or so people who live in the village, which sits on the south bank of the Ivindo River, deep in the great Minkebe forest in northern Gabon, are used to occasional bouts of diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever and sleeping sickness. John Vidal, Scientific American, "Destroyed Habitat Creates the Perfect Conditions for Coronavirus to Emerge," 18 Mar. 2020 Diseases like malaria are expanding into higher latitudes as temperatures increase. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Welp, the Latest UN Climate Change Report Sure Is Bleak," 26 Nov. 2019 The more than 80 clinical trials being conducted in China involve drugs that were developed to treat illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and Ebola. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "A Promising Antiviral Is Being Tested for the Coronavirus—but Results Are Not Yet Out," 28 Feb. 2020 The couple reviewed successes and failures in their two decades of global health philanthropy in areas like vaccination, malaria and AIDS prevention. Fortune, "Bill and Melinda Gates add climate change and gender equality to their foundation’s focus," 10 Feb. 2020 Trained as a lawyer, Ms. Dugan had once worked at a major record company, EMI, before going on to Disney and Red, whose mission of fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa — and association with Bono — had elevated her to the Davos set. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "How the Grammys and Deborah Dugan Went From Hello to War in 5 Months," 23 Jan. 2020

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 2

History and Etymology for malaria

Italian, from mala aria bad air

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Time Traveler for malaria

Time Traveler

The first known use of malaria was in 1740

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Statistics for malaria

Last Updated

25 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Malaria.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for malaria


How to pronounce malaria (audio)

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 How to pronounce malaria (audio) \

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 How to pronounce malaria (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on malaria

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with malaria

Spanish Central: Translation of malaria

Nglish: Translation of malaria for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of malaria for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about malaria

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