noun, plural al·ler·gies.
an abnormal reaction of the body to a previously encountered allergen introduced by inhalation, ingestion, injection, or skin contact, often manifested by itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing, skin rash, or diarrhea.
Informal. a strong dislike or aversion, as toward a person or activity: He has an allergy to hard work.
Origin of allergy
< Greek áll(os
) other + -ergy
< Greek -ergia,
equivalent to érg(on
) activity + -ia -y3
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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British Dictionary definitions for allergy
noun plural -gies
a hypersensitivity to a substance that causes the body to react to any contact with that substance. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen
informal aversionhe has an allergy to studying
Word Origin for allergy
C20: from German Allergie (indicating a changed reaction), from Greek allos other + ergon activity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for allergy
1911, from German Allergie, coined 1906 by Austrian pediatrician Clemens E. von Pirquet (1874-1929) from Greek allos "other, different, strange" (see alias (adv.)) + ergon "activity" (see urge (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
An abnormally high acquired sensitivity to certain substances, such as drugs, pollens, or microorganisms, that may include such symptoms as sneezing, itching, and skin rashes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
An abnormally high immunologic sensitivity to certain stimuli such as drugs, foods, environmental irritants, microorganisms, or physical conditions, such as temperature extremes. These stimuli act as antigens, provoking an immunological response involving the release of inflammatory substances, such as histamine, in the body. Allergies may be innate or acquired in genetically predisposed individuals. Common symptoms include sneezing, itching, and skin rashes, though in some individuals symptoms can be severe. See also anaphylactic shock.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A highly sensitive reaction of the body to certain substances, such as pollen, that are present in amounts that do not affect most people. Common indications of allergy include sneezing, skin rashes, itching, and runny nose.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.