1. suggesting an unhealthy mental state or attitude; unwholesomely gloomy, sensitive, extreme, etc.: a morbid interest in death.
  2. affected by, caused by, causing, or characteristic of disease.
  3. pertaining to diseased parts: morbid anatomy.
  4. gruesome; grisly.

Origin of morbid

1650–60; < Latin morbidus sickly, equivalent to morb(us) sickness + -idus -id4
Related formsmor·bid·ly, adverbmor·bid·ness, nounpre·mor·bid, adjectivepre·mor·bid·ly, adverbpre·mor·bid·ness, nounun·mor·bid, adjectiveun·mor·bid·ly, adverbun·mor·bid·ness, noun

Synonyms for morbid

2. unwholesome, diseased, unhealthy, sick, sickly; tainted, corrupted, vitiated.

Antonyms for morbid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for premorbid


  1. having an unusual interest in death or unpleasant events
  2. gruesome
  3. relating to or characterized by disease; pathologica morbid growth
Derived Formsmorbidly, adverbmorbidness, noun

Word Origin for morbid

C17: from Latin morbidus sickly, from morbus illness
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 premorbid

also pre-morbid, 1905, from pre- + morbid.



1650s, "of the nature of a disease, indicative of a disease," from Latin morbidus "diseased," from morbus "sickness, disease, ailment, illness," from root of mori "to die," which is possibly from PIE root *mer- "to rub, pound, wear away" (cf. Sanskrit mrnati "crushes, bruises;" Greek marainein "to consume, exhaust, put out, quench," marasmus "consumption"). Transferred use, of mental states, is from 1777. Related: Morbidly; morbidness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

premorbid in Medicine


  1. Preceding the occurrence of disease.


  1. Relating to or caused by disease; pathological or diseased.
  2. Psychologically unhealthy or unwholesome.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.