[ muh-ling-ger ]
/ məˈlɪŋ gər /
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See synonyms for: malinger / malingerer on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)

to pretend illness, especially in order to shirk one's duty, avoid work, etc.



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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-
ma·lin·ger·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
  • 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) /


(intr) to pretend or exaggerate illness, esp to avoid work
malingerer, noun
C19: from French malingre sickly, perhaps from mal badly + Old French haingre feeble
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

Medical definitions for malinger

[ mə-lĭnggər ]


To feign illness or other incapacity in order to avoid duty or work.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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