migraine

noun
mi·​graine | \ ˈmī-ˌgrān How to pronounce migraine (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from migraine

migrainous \ ˈmī-​ˌgrā-​nəs How to pronounce migrainous (audio) \ adjective

Examples of migraine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Conditions that can cause this include arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, and multiple sclerosis, as well as temporary pain issues like an injury or nighttime discomfort involved with pregnancy. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Much Sleep Do I Need?," 21 Mar. 2019 Although there are treatments for migraine, which is thought to have genetic causes, the first drug to prevent the ailment has only recently been approved. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "There are some new ways to fight disabling migraines," 2 June 2018 In the end, the relationship between caffeine and migraines is complicated. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How to Tell if Your 'Caffeine Withdrawal Headaches' Are Actually Migraines," 25 Jan. 2019 The medication, called Aimovig, is used to treat migraines in adults by reducing the amount of time the migraine symptoms last. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "FDA Approves Drug Migraine Shot: What You Need to Know," 18 May 2018 Chris would rub my back with coconut oil to prevent the pain from getting worse and causing migraines. Kate Storey, Good Housekeeping, "I'm Terminally Ill, and I Want to Choose When I Die," 1 Nov. 2016 People contend with seizures, numbness, cognitive issues, migraines, dizziness, regrowth, and more surgery. Daphne Beal, Vogue, "After One Writer Finds Out She Has a Brain Tumor, She Confronts It Head On," 10 Aug. 2018 Verapamil is just one of many options available to treat migraines. Alessandra Potenza, The Verge, "To save money, my insurance company forced me to try drugs that didn’t work," 22 June 2018 The stock prices of Amgen (amgn, +0.48%) and Novartis (nvs, -0.58%) have popped after the pharmaceutical companies won U.S. approval for a new shot that treats migraines. David Meyer, Fortune, "The FDA Approved a Promising New Shot to Treat Migraines and Now the Drugmakers' Stocks Are Rising," 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about migraine

Statistics for migraine

Last Updated

4 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for migraine

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

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 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 (as diplopia, scotoma, or tunnel vision) is the main symptom and is not followed by headache 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.

called also acephalgic migraine, silent migraine

(2) : a condition that is marked by episodic bodily dysfunction (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," such as Imitrex, to relieve occasional migraines. But triptans don't work for 20% to 30% of patients.— Tara Parker-Pope 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

called also sick headache

Other Words from migraine

migrainous \ -​ˌgrā-​nəs How to pronounce migrainous (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on migraine

What made you want to look up migraine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!