orphan disease

noun
or·​phan disease | \ ˈȯr-fən- How to pronounce orphan disease (audio) \

Medical Definition of orphan disease

: a disease which affects a relatively small number of individuals and for which no drug therapy has been developed because the small market would make the research and the drug unprofitable

Learn More about orphan disease

Cite this Entry

“Orphan disease.” Merriam-Webster.com Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/orphan%20disease. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

Comments on orphan disease

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!