[ muh-ling-ger-ing ]


  1. pretending illness, especially in order to shirk one’s duty, avoid work, etc.:

    Typically, malingering patients are reluctant to undergo examination and complain about having to participate.

  2. of or being a pretended illness:

    The manager reprimanded the employee and accused him of having a malingering illness.


  1. the act or practice of pretending illness:

    Stop your malingering and help your mother with the chores!

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of malingering1

First recorded in 1770–80; malinger ( def ) + -ing 2( def ) for the adjective senses; malinger ( def ) + -ing 1( def ) for the noun sense
Discover More

Example Sentences

Now that I am free, I have Medicaid and doctors no longer assume I am malingering.

To stop what could be gang-related malingering, Ms. Dozier runs after them, breaking a shoe in the process.

The sneer of malingering is easily raised, but it is doubtful whether real malingering has much to do with it.

We want to talk less about malingering and more about insanitary conditions, which is the real cause of excessive claims.

The first question which the psychiatrist is called upon to decide in many instances is that of malingering.

As a matter of fact cases of pure malingering are among the rarest things which the psychiatrist observes.

There was a time in the history of psychiatry when malingering was a frequent subject of discussion in psychiatric literature.