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

Other Words from malaria

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

Examples of malaria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The company also published predictions for all the proteins in 20 other organisms of interest to science, including the malaria parasite and the species of rat used in most lab experiments. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 28 July 2022 This propels people to believe that individuals with the sickle cell trait are descended from ancestors who had to deal with the malaria parasite themselves in places like central India, eastern Saudi Arabia, and equatorial Africa. Wired, 14 July 2022 Most of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa, home to a form of the malaria parasite called Plasmodium falciparum. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2022 But how does the disease persist during the long dry seasons, when almost no one falls ill and there are few mosquitoes to carry the tiny malaria parasite from one human host to another? Donald G. Mcneil Jr., Star Tribune, 14 Nov. 2020 Researchers had been searching for a malaria vaccine since the late 1960s. Pratik Pawar, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 June 2022 After decades of development, a malaria vaccine now exists. Christine Ro, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 Hoiho also suffer from various diseases, including avian malaria and dermatitis, which the hospital can treat with antibiotics. CNN, 30 May 2022 That deadly toll — 9 million people each year — has continued unabated through 2019, killing more people than war, terrorism, road injuries, malaria, drugs and alcohol. Kasha Patel, Washington Post, 17 May 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of malaria was in 1740

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Malaria.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for malaria


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

More from Merriam-Webster on malaria

Nglish: Translation of malaria for Spanish Speakers

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


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