migraine

noun
mi·​graine | \ ˈmī-ˌgrān, British often ˈmē-\
plural migraines

Definition of migraine

1a : a condition marked by recurring moderate to severe headache with throbbing pain that usually lasts from four hours to three days, typically begins on one side of the head but may spread to both sides, is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound, and is sometimes preceded by an aura and is often followed by fatigue Migraine affects three times as many women as men.The Journal of the American Medical Association About 20 percent of migraine sufferers experience an aura as the first symptom of an attack. The aura may be a pulsing star of light, or a dance of geometric forms across the visual field …— Natalie Angier
b : a condition that is a variant form of the typical migraine but in which headache is absent or not a prominent symptom:
(1) : a condition in which an aura involving visual disturbances (such as diplopia, scotoma, or tunnel vision) is the main symptom and is not followed by headache

called also acephalgic migraine, silent migraine

(2) : a condition that is marked by episodic bodily dysfunction (such as cyclic vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, vertigo, or unilateral weakness or paralysis) and may be accompanied by headache abdominal migraine vestibular migraine In retinal migraine, repeated episodes of unilateral visual disorder occur with or without headache.— Sid Gilman
2 : an episode or attack of migraine Most patients use a class of drugs known as "triptans," to relieve occasional migraines. But triptans don't work for 20% to 30% of patients.— Tara Parker-Pope

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Other Words from migraine

migrainous \ -​ˌgrā-​nəs \ adjective

Examples of migraine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The administration’s headaches are about to become migraines. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Will Democrats Overplay Their Good Hand?," 1 Jan. 2019 Families who unknowingly buy meth houses and live in them for a time can experience symptoms ranging from migraines to respiratory problems to skin burns and irritation, according to Scientific American. Matthew Martinez, The Seattle Times, "Family didn’t know dream home was contaminated with meth," 6 Aug. 2018 And there are a few distinct ways to tell sinus pain from migraines, Dr. Farag says. Korin Miller, SELF, "A 13-Year-Old Boy Died After a Sinus Infection Spread to His Brain," 29 Mar. 2018 These are the kinds of thoughts that give FERC commissioners migraines. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 2018 The carbon-free energy, however, regularly causes migraines for operators at the Bonneville Power Administration, based in Portland, Ore., who manage the regional electricity grid. Peter Fairley, Scientific American, "Weather-Smart Electric Grids Are Needed for Wind and Solar Power to Surge," 13 July 2018 To do this, one region was chosen as the initiating point for the migraine. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Oscillating brain goes regular before migraine pain hits," 15 Aug. 2018 Aimovig, an injectable treatment for migraines, was released in the U.S. in May and has a $6,900 annual price tag. Austen Hufford, WSJ, "Two Senior Amgen Executives to Leave," 26 July 2018 Up until now, there weren't many preventative treatments for migraines. refinery29.com, "The FDA Just Approved A Ground-Breaking Drug For Migraine Sufferers," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'migraine.' 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 migraine

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

History and Etymology for migraine

Middle English mygreyn, from Middle French migraine, modification of Late Latin hemicrania pain in one side of the head, from Greek hēmikrania, from hēmi- hemi- + kranion cranium

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Statistics for migraine

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for migraine

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

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More Definitions for migraine

migraine

noun

English Language Learners Definition of migraine

: a very bad headache

migraine

noun
mi·​graine | \ ˈmī-ˌgrān, British often ˈmē-\

Medical Definition of migraine

1 : a condition marked by recurring moderate to severe headache with throbbing pain that usually lasts from four hours to three days, typically begins on one side of the head but may spread to both sides, is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound, and is sometimes preceded by an aura and is often followed by sleep

Note: Migraine tends to occur in more than one member of a family and is of uncertain origin though attacks appear to be associated with dilation of intracranial blood vessels and release of serotonin and other inflammatory substances.

Migraine is a common disorder that can severely affect patients' quality of life and daily function. The patients typically have attacks of unilateral, pulsating, severe or moderately severe headache aggravated by routine physical activity …The New England Journal of Medicine, 1 Aug. 1991 Migraine affects three times as many women as men.The Journal of the American Medical Association, 16 Dec. 1998 About 20 percent of migraine sufferers experience an aura as the first symptom of an attack. The aura may be a pulsing star of light, or a dance of geometric forms across the visual field …— Natalie Angier, The New York Times, 14 Sept. 1993 Common migraine, which accounts for four-fifths of migraine, produces fewer fireworks but can be even more painful. It lacks the warning aura and more often involves both sides of the head. Like the classic form, it strikes at intervals— several times a week to several times a year.— Edwin Kiester Jr., Smithsonian, December 1987 Approximately 20% of migraineurs may experience acephalgic attacks of migraine at one time or another. Indeed, that various symptoms can occur in the absence of any headache has been noted for some time; in fact, visual phenomena were described as early as the 12th century.— Donald M. Pedersen et al., The Journal of Family Practice, 1 May 1991
2 : an episode or attack of migraine Most patients use a class of drugs known as “triptans,” such as Imitrex, to relieve occasional migraines. But triptans don't work for 20% to 30% of patients.— Tara Parker-Pope, The Wall Street Journal, 17 Aug. 2004 Lynn Goldstein, a dietitian at Weill Cornell, advises patients to remove suspected “trigger” foods from their diet for a period of time and monitor how their migraines are affected.Food & Fitness Advisor, May 2008

called also sick headache

Other Words from migraine

migrainous \ -​ˌgrā-​nəs \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on migraine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with migraine

Spanish Central: Translation of migraine

Nglish: Translation of migraine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of migraine for Arabic Speakers

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