allergy

[ al-er-jee ]
/ ˈæl ər dʒi /

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.
hypersensitivity to the reintroduction of an allergen.Compare anaphylaxis.
Informal. a strong dislike or aversion, as toward a person or activity: He has an allergy to hard work.

Nearby words

  1. allergic purpura,
  2. allergic reaction,
  3. allergic rhinitis,
  4. allergic salute,
  5. allergist,
  6. allesthesia,
  7. allethrin,
  8. alleviant,
  9. alleviate,
  10. alleviation

Origin of allergy

1910–15; < Greek áll(os) other + -ergy < Greek -ergia, equivalent to érg(on) activity + -ia -y3

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for allergy


British Dictionary definitions for allergy

allergy

/ (ˈælədʒɪ) /

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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for allergy

allergy

n.

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

Medicine definitions for allergy

allergy

[ ălər-jē ]

n.

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.

Science definitions for allergy

allergy

[ ălər-jē ]

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.

Culture definitions for allergy

allergy

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.