mor·​bid | \ˈmȯr-bəd \

Definition of morbid 

1a : of, relating to, or characteristic of disease morbid anatomy

b : affected with or induced by disease a morbid condition

c : productive of disease morbid substances

2 : abnormally susceptible to or characterized by gloomy or unwholesome feelings

3 : grisly, gruesome morbid details morbid curiosity

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Other Words from morbid

morbidly adverb
morbidness noun

Examples of morbid in a Sentence

Some of the material has been disclosed before, but it is wonderful to have the quotations from President Nixon and his aides gathered here in all their morbid splendor. — Anthony Lewis, New York Review of Books, 7 Apr. 2005 Danger can be sexy, but morbid proselytizing is a real buzzkill. — Emily Gordon, Nation, 5 May 1997 When I was a kid, I harbored a morbid fear of feathers. Feathers. Not a single feather or a few loose feathers, like the ones I'd stick in my naps to play Indian, but feathers in a bunch,  … — John Edgar Wideman, New Yorker, 1 Aug. 1994 She suffered from a morbid streak which in all the life of the family reached out on occasions—the worst occasions—and touched us, clung around us, making it worse for her; her unbearable moments could find nowhere to go. — Eudora Welty, One Writer's Beginnings, 1983 She has a morbid interest in funerals. He has a morbid sense of humor. a morbid fascination with death wanting to learn about a celebrity's downfall out of morbid curiosity suffering from a morbid condition The child has a morbid fear of snakes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Also, children with morbid obesity, on long-term aspirin therapy, immunosuppression, residing in a chronic care facility, or with chronic medical conditions, such as congenital heart disease, asthma, diabetes. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Flu Symptoms in Kids Come Suddenly, But You Can Act Fast If You Know What to Look For," 19 Oct. 2018 The last couple years have been especially morbid, with traffic deaths rising at an alarming rate year-over-year. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Fewer people died in car crashes in 2017, but the outlook is still grim," 3 Oct. 2018 The president’s irritation with his staff over bad media attention reached a new level last week after a morbid joke a junior aide made about Senator John McCain having brain cancer was leaked to news outlets. New York Times, "An Aggrieved Trump Wants Better Press, and He Blames Leaks for Not Getting It," 17 May 2018 And while an art show dedicated to nightmares might sound morbid, Douglas sees it as a net positive. Jef Rouner, Houston Chronicle, "Wilde Collection art show makes dark less scary for young artists," 21 June 2018 Obituary confessions are, of course, not always so morbid. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "‘This world is a better place without her’: A family’s savage final send-off to their mother," 5 June 2018 These are not, as is sometimes claimed, the remains of vaporized individuals, but rather a kind of morbid nuclear photograph. Daily Intelligencer, "This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like," 12 June 2018 The sample will be compared with a sample provided by Graham and should offer a morbid capstone of Graham’s long search for the truth. Michael Rezendes,, "Body of priest exhumed to establish whether he fathered a child decades ago," 19 June 2018 Uninspired plotting lands him in mutant prison, shackled by a techno-collar that renders his mutant powers useless and brings back his cancer, which, in turn, allows for some impressively morbid fight scenes featuring body-twisting physical humor. Jen Yamato,, "Snark conquers all in 'Deadpool 2,' a superhero sequel that's more of the same," 15 May 2018

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

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for morbid

Latin morbidus diseased, from morbus disease

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Statistics for morbid

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for morbid

The first known use of morbid was in 1656

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More Definitions for morbid



English Language Learners Definition of morbid

: relating to unpleasant subjects (such as death)

: not healthy or normal


mor·​bid | \ˈmȯr-bəd \

Kids Definition of morbid

1 : not healthy or normal He has a morbid fear of snakes.

2 : having or showing an interest in unpleasant or gloomy things Some stared at the afflicted child with morbid fascination …— Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game


mor·​bid | \ˈmȯr-bəd \

Medical Definition of morbid 

1a : of, relating to, or characteristic of disease

b : affected with or induced by disease a morbid condition morbid alteration of tissues

c : productive of disease morbid substances

2 : abnormally susceptible to or characterized by gloomy or unwholesome feelings

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More from Merriam-Webster on morbid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for morbid

Spanish Central: Translation of morbid

Nglish: Translation of morbid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of morbid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on morbid

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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