[val-i-tood-n-air-ee-uh n, -tyood-]


an invalid.
a person who is excessively concerned about his or her poor health or ailments.


in poor health; sickly; invalid.
excessively concerned about one's poor health or ailments.
of, relating to, or characterized by invalidism.

Origin of valetudinarian

First recorded in 1695–1705; valetudinary + -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for valetudinarian

Historical Examples of valetudinarian

  • What is stranger still, with all this he was something of a valetudinarian.

    Loss and Gain

    John Henry Newman

  • Dr. Howe, with all his energy of body and of mind, was somewhat of a valetudinarian.

    Reminiscences, 1819-1899

    Julia Ward Howe.

  • Old, used up, valetudinarian, he only revived after a sentence of death.

  • The Valetudinarian is a man subject to some affliction, imaginary or real, or it may be both.


    John Bate

  • This valetudinarian majority should make the youngest of us pause and reflect.

    The Passionate Elopement

    Compton Mackenzie

British Dictionary definitions for valetudinarian


valetudinary (ˌvælɪˈtjuːdɪnərɪ)

noun plural -narians or -naries

a person who is or believes himself to be chronically sick; invalid
a person excessively worried about the state of his health; hypochondriac


relating to, marked by, or resulting from poor health
being a valetudinarian
trying to return to a healthy state
Derived Formsvaletudinarianism, noun

Word Origin for valetudinarian

C18: from Latin valētūdō state of health, from valēre to be well
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 valetudinarian

"one who is constantly concerned with his own ailments," 1703, from valetudinary (1580s), from Latin valetudinarius, from valetudo "state of health," from valere "be strong" (see valiant) + -tudo, abstract noun suffix (see -tude). Valetudinary (adj.) "sickly" is recorded from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for valetudinarian




A sickly or weak person, especially one who is constantly and morbidly concerned with his or her health.


Chronically ailing; sickly.
Constantly and morbidly concerned with one's health.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.