Do you know someone who always seems to develop an ailment when there's work to be done? Someone who merits an Academy Award for his or her superb simulation of symptoms? Then you know a malingerer. The verb malinger comes from the French word malingre, meaning "sickly," and one who malingers feigns illness. In its earliest uses in the early 19th century, malinger usually referred to a soldier or sailor pretending to be sick or insane to shirk duty. Later, psychologists began using malingering as a clinical term to describe the feigning of illness in avoidance of a duty or for personal gain. Today, malinger is used in just about any context in which someone fakes sickness or injury to get out of an undesirable task.
Examples of malinger in a Sentence
His boss suspected him of malingering because of his frequent absences from work.
Recent Examples on the WebBut when workers take advantage of the manager’s kindly nature to malinger or disrupt operations, the entire business is threatened.
Bill Conerly, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 The decision against Robert Krebs came after a psychologist determined Krebs didn’t have a mental illness or cognitive impairment and was instead malingering to avoid prosecution for the robbery last year in Tucson.
Jacques Billeaud, BostonGlobe.com, 24 June 2019 On Monday, prosecutor Stuart Silberg said Ms. Ortega could have been malingering, or faking her psychiatric state.
Corinne Ramey, WSJ, 31 July 2017 The question is obviously especially consequential when deeming a person malingering means they could be put to death.
James Hamblin, The Atlantic, 5 May 2017
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malinger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.