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

Frequently Asked Questions About morbid

What is morbid curiosity?

Morbid curiosity is a fascination with grisly or gruesome matters. Although morbid has other meanings (such as "productive of disease"), when paired with curiosity it carries the "grisly" sense.

Are morbid and moribund the same?

Morbid and moribund may begin with the same three letters, but these words have different meanings and origins. Moribund, meaning "being in a state of inactivity or obsolescence," comes from the Latin word meaning "to die" (mori), while morbid ("grisly, gruesome") is from the Latin morbus ("disease").

Is morbid a noun?

No, morbid is an adjective (with meanings such as "of, relating to, or characteristic of disease" and "gruesome or grisly"). There are noun forms, such as morbidity ("an abnormal or unhealthy state of mind; especially, one marked by excessive gloom") and morbidness ("the quality or state of being morbid"). "

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 In fact, Shanahan had a pretty morbid way of indicating that there’s no guarantee Garoppolo will be on the roster once the 2021 NFL Draft comes to a culmination this coming weekend. Vincent Frank, Forbes, "San Francisco 49ers Hold The Key To The 2021 NFL Draft And Their Own Future," 27 Apr. 2021 But the show also mixes in a delightfully morbid sense of humor. Rafael Motamayor, Vulture, "How the Demon Slayer Movie Is Breaking the Mold and Shattering Records," 21 Apr. 2021 Now, vaccinations have opened up for people above the age of 60 and those above 45 with co-morbid conditions. Washington Post, "Live updates: Downtrend in new U.S. infections stalls, fueling concerns over virus variants’ spread," 1 Mar. 2021 Not to be morbid, just morbidly political, but because of Joe Biden's age, scrutiny of his vice presidential nominee should be exceedingly fine. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | EDITORIAL: The pick is in," 17 Aug. 2020 And the morbid tabulations that appear at the bottom of the TV screen don’t come close to conveying the human toll or its scope. Author: Noah Bierman, Eli Stokols, Anchorage Daily News, "Little sense of shared grief as virus deaths near 100,000," 22 May 2020 The first episode opens on her sister’s 17th birthday, which her grieving mother celebrates every year with a morbid over-the-top party. Kathleen Newman-bremang,, "Netflix Is About To Drop Your Next TV Obsession," 19 May 2020 But this is changing people’s perceptions of death. Instead of being a morbid thing to do, this whole pandemic has focused people’s minds on the importance of having their affairs in order. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "Where There’s a Will in England, There’s a Way," 28 Apr. 2020 His father worked in the commercial art trade and owned a blanket that was once used by a victim of the 1918 flu — a morbid keepsake that Dr. Crosby credited with stimulating his interest in epidemiology. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Alfred Crosby, environmental historian of ‘Columbian exchange,’ dies at 87," 5 Apr. 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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Morbid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on morbid

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