mor·​bid | \ ˈmȯr-bəd How to pronounce morbid (audio) \

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

Kokoschka uses the closing-time warning at British pubs as the title for a morbid pas de deux between Father Time and a naked figure suggestive of the artist himself. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Painter of Ethereal Roughness," 7 Dec. 2018 Image The cohort of friends and lovers in Makkai’s novel live in a constant state of morbid apprehension, first awaiting their test results and then, if the news is bad, awaiting their initial symptoms. Michael Cunningham, New York Times, "Surviving AIDS, but at What Cost?," 25 June 2018 Photo: Michael Hitoshi/Getty Autophobia—Fear of Being Alone Autophobia is a morbid and persistent fear of loneliness or solitude. Alexandra Gekas, Woman's Day, "10 Fascinating Phobias," 14 Sep. 2010 That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "People Have a Lot of Thoughts About How The Conners Killed Off Roseanne," 17 Oct. 2018 People’s interest in the murders is rooted more in morbid curiosity than in personal safety. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Sharp Objects shows that men can’t comprehend a dangerous woman in “Fix”," 23 July 2018 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

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

4 Apr 2019

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)
technical : not healthy or normal


mor·​bid | \ ˈmȯr-bəd How to pronounce morbid (audio) \

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 How to pronounce morbid (audio) \

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

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