1

valetudinarian

play
noun val·e·tu·di·nar·i·an \ˌva-lə-ˌtü-də-ˈner-ē-ən, -ˌtyü-\

Definition of valetudinarian

  1. :  a person of a weak or sickly constitution; especially :  one whose chief concern is his or her ill health

valetudinarian was our Word of the Day on 09/14/2013. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Oddly enough, "valetudinarian," a word for someone who is sickly (or at least thinks he or she is) comes from "valēre," a Latin word that means "to be strong" or "to be well." Most of the English offspring of "valēre" imply having some kind of strength or force-consider, for instance, "valiant," "prevail," "valor," and "value." But the Latin valēre also gave rise to "valetudo." In Latin, "valetudo" refers to one's state of health (whether good or bad), but by the time that root had given rise to "valetudinarian" in the early 1700s, English-speaking pessimists had given it a decidedly sickly spin.

Origin and Etymology of valetudinarian

1valetudinary + 1-an


First Known Use: 1703


2

valetudinarian

adjective val·e·tu·di·nar·i·an

Definition of valetudinarian

  1. :  of, relating to, or characteristic of a valetudinarian :  sickly, weak

1713

First Known Use of valetudinarian

1713


Medical Dictionary

1

valetudinarian

play
noun val·e·tu·di·nar·i·an \ˌval-ə-ˌt(y)üd-ən-ˈer-ē-ən\

Medical Definition of valetudinarian

  1. :  a person of a weak or sickly constitution; especially :  one whose chief concern is his or her ill health


2

valetudinarian

adjective val·e·tu·di·nar·i·an

Medical Definition of valetudinarian

  1. :  of, relating to, or being a valetudinarian :  sickly

Learn More about valetudinarian


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a brief usually trivial fact

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ