- pertaining to or suffering from hypochondria, an excessive preoccupation with and worry about one's health: The comedy is aimed at the hypochondriac demographic.
- produced by hypochondria: Hypochondriac feelings overwhelmed her.
Origin of hypochondriac
The upper abdomen, it turns out, was thought to be the seat of melancholy at a time when the now-outdated medical theory of the four humors (blood, phlegm, yellow bile [choler], and black bile [melancholy]) was accepted as a basis for legitimate health practice. In the 17th century, hypochondriac referred to people who suffered from “depression and melancholy without cause,” though we might suppose from the name of this malady that many depressed patients complained of abdominal pains, which otherwise went undiagnosed. “Vapors,” another archaic disorder connected to the upper abdomen, was used as a euphemism for PMS in a time when such things were not discussed in polite conversation. Because doctors were male at this time, “women’s problems” were largely written off as fits of hysteria (another obsolete medical term of Greek origin, from the word for womb ).
It wasn’t until the 19th century that hypochondriac described someone who suffered “illness without a specific cause.” This sense is still widely used, though today we diagnose modern hypochondriacs by their overuse of the website WebMD.
— The Hypochondriac: Molière’s last play, first performed in 1673. During the play’s fourth performance, Molière passed out on stage and died a few days later.
- "The uncomfortable feelings of the hypochondriac are excessively magnified by his fears and the concentration of his thoughts and attention to his disease."-Dr. Prichard edited by Sir John Forbes, Alexander Tweedie, John Conolly Hypochondriasis The Cyclopaedia of Practical Medicine: Comprising Treatises On the Nature and Treatment of Diseases, Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Medical Jurisprudence, Etc., Etc., Volume 2 (1833)
- "Aziz’s mother, a notorious hypochondriac, complained at length about her latest bout of indigestion."-Laila Lalami Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (2005)
Examples from the Web for hypochondriacal
Historical Examples of hypochondriacal
If he was hypochondriacal, he was made to believe that he had the dropsy.Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)
Thomas Babington Macaulay
The patient is languid, often irritable and hypochondriacal.
Hypochondriacal misery is apt to take an intellectual shape.More Pages from a Journal
Anecdote of a singer and his wife in Leipsic, 316;of a hypochondriacal comedian, 323.Library Notes
A. P. Russell
All readers of the novel of the period will recall the hypochondriacal Matt Bramble's tirade against the stench of London air.Hypochondriasis
adjective Also: hypochondriacal (ˌhaɪpəkɒnˈdraɪəkəl)
1590s, "pertaining to the hypochondria," also "afflicted with melancholy," from French hypocondriaque (16c.), from Medieval Latin hypochondriacus, from Greek hypokhondriakos "pertaining to the upper abdomen," from hypokhondria (see hypochondria). The noun is from 1630s, "melancholy person;" in the modern sense from 1888.
A person who constantly believes he or she is ill or about to become ill.