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[val-i-tood-n-air-ee-uh n, -tyood-] /ˌvæl ɪˌtud nˈɛər i ən, -ˌtyud-/
an invalid.
a person who is excessively concerned about his or her poor health or ailments.
in poor health; sickly; invalid.
excessively concerned about one's poor health or ailments.
of, relating to, or characterized by invalidism.
Origin of valetudinarian
First recorded in 1695-1705; valetudinary + -an Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for valetudinarian
Historical Examples
  • What is stranger still, with all this he was something of a valetudinarian.

    Loss and Gain John Henry Newman
  • Dr. Howe, with all his energy of body and of mind, was somewhat of a valetudinarian.

    Reminiscences, 1819-1899 Julia Ward Howe.
  • Old, used up, valetudinarian, he only revived after a sentence of death.

  • The valetudinarian is a man subject to some affliction, imaginary or real, or it may be both.


    John Bate
  • This valetudinarian majority should make the youngest of us pause and reflect.

    The Passionate Elopement Compton Mackenzie
  • Nor was Thoreau a valetudinarian in his physical, moral, or intellectual fiber.

    The Last Harvest John Burroughs
  • And, Sir, he is a valetudinarian, one of those who are always mending themselves.

    Life of Johnson James Boswell
  • At my time of life, a man must expect to be a valetudinarian, and it would be unjust to blame one's native climate for that.

  • Like Voltaire and Rousseau, he was born dying, and he remained delicate and valetudinarian to the end.

  • He has been justly, though perhaps harshly, described as a "valetudinarian Grandison."

British Dictionary definitions for valetudinarian


noun (pl) -narians, -naries
a person who is or believes himself to be chronically sick; invalid
a person excessively worried about the state of his health; hypochondriac
relating to, marked by, or resulting from poor health
being a valetudinarian
trying to return to a healthy state
Derived Forms
valetudinarianism, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Latin valētūdō state of health, from valēre to be well
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
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Word Origin and History for valetudinarian

"one who is constantly concerned with his own ailments," 1703, from valetudinary (1580s), from Latin valetudinarius, from valetudo "state of health," from valere "be strong" (see valiant) + -tudo, abstract noun suffix (see -tude). Valetudinary (adj.) "sickly" is recorded from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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valetudinarian in Medicine

valetudinarian val·e·tu·di·nar·i·an (vāl'ĭ-tōōd'n-âr'ē-ən, -tyōōd'-)
A sickly or weak person, especially one who is constantly and morbidly concerned with his or her health. adj.

  1. Chronically ailing; sickly.

  2. Constantly and morbidly concerned with one's health.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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