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 In June, the FDA revoked its emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine, a controversial malaria drug, after Trump had called for and promoted it despite little evidence of success. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, "Government agency will investigate Trump administration political influence over FDA, CDC," 19 Oct. 2020 And in the case of the controversial hydroxychloroquine purchase, state auditors couldn’t determine who OK’d spending $800,000 on the unproven malaria drug. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, "State auditors say there’s little paper trail on Utah’s no-bid, COVID-19 contracts," 30 Sep. 2020 Such trials were used in early research with smallpox, yellow fever and malaria. Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN, "UK mulling vaccine trials that deliberately expose volunteers to Covid-19," 23 Sep. 2020 The center has been focused on infectious disease research including malaria, Lassa fever, Ebola, HIV, yellow fever, and more recently SARS-CoV-2. Christian Happi, Quartz Africa, "Nigerian scientists have identified seven lineages of SARS-CoV-2," 7 Sep. 2020 Other vaccines, for diseases such as malaria, which target poor countries, are often purchased by philanthropic organizations for distribution, and do not promise satisfactory returns. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, "The Case for a Coronavirus-Vaccine Bond," 15 Aug. 2020 That resistance is a problem because of the deadly illnesses that mosquitoes, ticks and fleas can carry, including malaria, Lyme disease, West Nile and Zika. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Secret Behind New Insect Repellent’s Potent Punch Is Found in Grapefruit," 13 Aug. 2020 According to legend, in the late 1630s, the Countess of Chinchon of Spain became ill with malaria while living in Peru, and her husband, the viceroy, sought help from the Incas. Dallas News, "Hooked on tonics: How tonic water went from medicinal to trendy cocktail mixer," 28 Aug. 2020 From anti-malaria to antiviral From the start of the pandemic, hospitals were hampered by the lack of effective medications against the virus. Lauren Caruba,, "Here’s what San Antonio doctors have learned about treating COVID-19," 19 June 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

23 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Malaria.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 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

Nglish: Translation of malaria for Spanish Speakers

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

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