me·​grim | \ ˈmē-grəm How to pronounce megrim (audio) \

Definition of megrim

2a : fancy, whim
b megrims plural : low spirits

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The History of Megrim Could Be Headache Inducing

Megrim and "migraine" share a meaning and an etymology. Latin and Greek speakers afflicted with a pain in one side of the head called their ailment "hemicrania" or "hēmikrania," from the Greek terms hēmi-, meaning "half," and kranion, meaning "cranium." French-speaking sufferers used "migraine," a modification of "hemicrania," for the same condition. English speakers borrowed "migraine" from French - twice. First, they modified the French term to form "migreime," which in turn gave rise to "megrim" in the 15th century. Later, in the 18th century, they returned to French and borrowed "migraine" again, this time retaining its French spelling. Nowadays, "megrim" and "migraine" can still be used interchangeably, but "megrim" has other meanings as well.

Examples of megrim in a Sentence

having no sense of purpose, he was often at the mercy of the strange megrims that sprang into his head
Recent Examples on the Web By 1781, the French word migraine entered the English language as the accepted medical term, replacing older words such as megrim . Sibbie O'sullivan, Washington Post, "Migraines have plagued me for years. A new book puts my pain in perspective.," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'megrim.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of megrim

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for megrim

Middle English migreime, from Middle French migraine — more at migraine

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The first known use of megrim was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Megrim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for megrim


me·​grim | \ ˈmē-grəm How to pronounce megrim (audio) \

Medical Definition of megrim

2 : any of numerous diseases of animals marked by disturbance of equilibrium and abnormal gait and behavior usually used in plural

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