[ muh-ling-ger ]
See synonyms for: malingermalingerer on

verb (used without object)
  1. to pretend illness, especially in order to shirk one's duty, avoid work, etc.

Origin of malinger

First recorded in 1810–20; from French malingre “sickly, ailing,” equivalent to mal- “bad, ill” + Old French heingre “haggard” (perhaps from Germanic ); see mal-

Other words from malinger

  • ma·lin·ger·er, noun

Words Nearby malinger Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use malinger in a sentence

  • It was quick work; but Bowles had a college education—he had been only six hours a cowboy when he learned to malinger on the job.

    Bat Wing Bowles | Dane Coolidge
  • One, of course, can readily see with what facility an individual of the type under discussion could malinger mental symptoms.

  • No man ever essayed to malinger or to shirk a duty to which he had been allotted by the doctor.

  • "Sheep," who has been disposed to malinger, is the worst of the lot.

    Adventures in Alaska | Samuel Hall Young

British Dictionary definitions for malinger


/ (məˈlɪŋɡə) /

  1. (intr) to pretend or exaggerate illness, esp to avoid work

Origin of malinger

C19: from French malingre sickly, perhaps from mal badly + Old French haingre feeble

Derived forms of malinger

  • malingerer, noun

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