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

My migraines decreased about 20 percent after that first month. Katy Schneider, The Cut, "Why Did It Take So Long to Figure Out Migraines?," 22 May 2018 Some patients saw their migraines completely eliminated, said Sean Harper, Amgen’s research director. Linda A. Johnson, BostonGlobe.com, "Checking your A/C now will save you hassle and sweat once summer comes around," 18 May 2018 Some patients saw their migraines completely eliminated, said Sean Harper, Amgen’s research director. Washington Post, "US approves 1st drug developed to prevent chronic migraines," 17 May 2018 Her migraines became a daily misery after a bilateral mastectomy following a diagnosis of breast cancer. NBC News, "New drug uses antibodies to stop chronic migraines, without side effects," 17 Apr. 2018 The migraines led to bouts of opioid dependence after she was prescribed powerful painkillers as a treatment. CBS News, "Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall recalls final call with wife before her suicide," 29 June 2018 Phantosmia is also associated with Alzheimer’s and occasionally with the onset of a migraine. NBC News, "Phantom smells may be a sign of trouble," 10 July 2018 That’s why giving yourself a migraine arguing over which Phillies reliever should pitch in what inning to what hitter is pretty much pointless. Mike Sielski, Philly.com, "Gabe Kapler isn't God, and the Phillies bullpen has few good options | Mike Sielski," 26 June 2018 All told, a migraine can last for hours or even days. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Yes, Your Workouts Could Actually Be Triggering Your Migraines," 23 June 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

22 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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