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disease

[dih-zeez]
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noun
  1. a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.
  2. any abnormal condition in a plant that interferes with its vital physiological processes, caused by pathogenic microorganisms, parasites, unfavorable environmental, genetic, or nutritional factors, etc.
  3. any harmful, depraved, or morbid condition, as of the mind or society: His fascination with executions is a disease.
  4. decomposition of a material under special circumstances: tin disease.
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verb (used with object), dis·eased, dis·eas·ing.
  1. to affect with disease; make ill.
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Origin of disease

1300–50; Middle English disese < Anglo-French dese(a)se, disaise; see dis-1, ease
Related formsdis·eas·ed·ly, adverbdis·eas·ed·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. morbidity, complaint, derangement, distemper, indisposition, infirmity, disorder, malady.

Antonyms

1. health. 5. cure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for disease

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Some one said the other day, "Ennui is a disease that comes from living on other people's money."

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I found the people corrupted; and I must humour their disease.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • He had breathed into the atmosphere a subtle malaria, and George had caught the disease.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • He looked into his own heart—he was almost afraid to look—and saw the ravages of disease there.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • What sort of a disease is it that has taken Mrs. Roberts, do you suppose, to send her there?


British Dictionary definitions for disease

disease

noun
  1. any impairment of normal physiological function affecting all or part of an organism, esp a specific pathological change caused by infection, stress, etc, producing characteristic symptoms; illness or sickness in general
  2. a corresponding condition in plants
  3. any situation or condition likened to thisthe disease of materialism
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Related formsRelated adjective: pathological

Word Origin

C14: from Old French desaise; see dis- 1, ease
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for disease

n.

early 14c., "discomfort, inconvenience," from Old French desaise "lack, want; discomfort, distress; trouble, misfortune; disease, sickness," from des- "without, away" (see dis-) + aise "ease" (see ease). Sense of "sickness, illness" in English first recorded late 14c.; the word still sometimes was used in its literal sense early 17c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

disease in Medicine

disease

(dĭ-zēz)
n.
  1. A pathological condition of a body part, an organ, or a system resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.