[ ma-leyz, -muh-; French ma-lez ]
/ mæˈleɪz, -mə-; French maˈlɛz /


a condition of general bodily weakness or discomfort, often marking the onset of a disease.
a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy, or discomfort.

Nearby words

  1. malaga,
  2. malagasy,
  3. malagasy republic,
  4. malaguena,
  5. malagueña,
  6. malakal,
  7. malalignment,
  8. malam,
  9. malamud,
  10. malamud, bernard

Origin of malaise

1760–70; < French, Old French; see mal-, ease Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for malaise

British Dictionary definitions for malaise


/ (mæˈleɪz) /


a feeling of unease or depression
a mild sickness, not symptomatic of any disease or ailment
a complex of problems affecting a country, economy, etcBulgaria's economic malaise

Word Origin for malaise

C18: from Old French, from mal bad + aise 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 malaise



c.1300, maleise "pain, suffering; sorrow, anxiety," also, by late 14c., "disease, sickness," from Old French malaise "difficulty, suffering, hardship," literally "ill-ease," from mal "bad" (see mal-) + aise "ease" (see ease (n.)). The current use is perhaps a mid-18c. reborrowing from Modern French. A Middle English verbal form, malasen "to trouble, distress" (mid-15c.), from Old French malaisier, did not endure.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for malaise


[ mă-lāz, -lĕz ]


A vague feeling of bodily discomfort, as at the beginning of an illness.

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