disease


disease
disease n Disease, disorder, condition, affection, ailment, malady, complaint, distemper, syndrome denote a de-ranged bodily state usually associated with or amounting to a loss of health.
Disease in its usual and broadest use implies an impairment of the normal state of the living body or of one or more of its parts marked by disturbance of vital functions and usually traceable to a specific cause (as a parasite, a toxin, or a dietary deficiency)
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his suffering is caused by disease

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As used in names of specific abnormal states, disease implies the existence of a regularly occurring identifying group of symptoms and, often, of a known cause
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such dreaded diseases as smallpox and plague

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possibly celiac disease is a symptom complex with a multiple etiology rather than a single disease entity— Yr. Bk. of Endocrinology

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Disorder is commonly interchangeable with disease
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a nutritional disorder caused by a lack of calcium and phosphorus— Time

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but typically it stresses the disordered state without regard to cause
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a specialist in disorders of the liver

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Disease may sometimes be used more narrowly to distinguish an abnormal state resulting from an infective process
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disease is conceived as being limited to malfunctioning of the organism initiated and maintained by an infectious process— Ashley Montagu

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and is then distinguished from or subordinated to disorder
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his distinction between disease (morbid change in tissue due to specific microorganisms) and disorder (disturbance in structure or function from any cause) is an artificial one— Roney

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diseases and other disorders of turf— Lukens & Stoddard

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Condition and the less common affection both imply a particular and usually an abnormal state of the body or more often of one of its parts; neither suggests anything about the cause or severity of such state
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pulmonary affections

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a severe heart condition

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Ailment, malady, and complaint are used chiefly of human disorders, and all imply a degree of indefiniteness
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the pattern of ailments is changing and the "degenerative diseases," like heart, circulation, and nerve diseases and cancer, are increasing— New Statesman

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had suffered from an obscure malady, an injury to the spine— Glasgow

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a digestive complaint of long standing

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Ailment often suggests a trivial or chronic disorder
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the pesthouses of the period of our Civil War, in which patients suffering from minor ailments were infected with all manner of diseases— Morrison

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constantly complaining of her ailments

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Malady, on the other hand, usually stresses the mysterious or serious character of a disorder
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suspicion in the Oriental is a sort of malignant tumor, a mental maladyForster

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told by his physician that he had a fatal maladyCather

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Complaint carries no inherent implication about the seriousness of the disorder but in stressing the invalid's point of view may suggest the distress that accompanies ill health
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taking all sorts of medicine for vague complaintsFishbein

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Distemper, which formerly applied to human disorders, is now used almost entirely of diseases of lower animals and more particularly to denote specifically certain severe infectious diseases (as a destructive virus disease of the dog and related animals, strangles of the horse, or panleucopenia of the cat).
Syndrome is often used interchangeably with disease to denote a particular disorder, but in precise professional thinking such interchangeability does not imply strict synonymy, since syndrome denotes the group or pattern of signs and symptoms that constitute the evidence of disease and carries no implication about causation; thus, one might use either Ménière's disease or Ménière's syndrome to denote a particular disorder centered in the inner ear; however, one would say that the syndrome (not disease) of recurrent dizziness, ringing in the ears, and deafness suggests the presence of Ménière's disease
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a condition characterized by splenomegaly, hypochromic anemia, leukopenia, and icterus . . . this symptom complex may be produced by a variety of pathological states. It is therefore more properly classified as a syndrome than as a disease entity— W. M. Fowler

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Certain of these terms also are comparable in other uses and especially as applied to mental, spiritual, or emotional abnormal states.
Disease usually connotes evident derangement requiring remedies or a cure
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diseases of the body politic

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this strange disease of modern life, with its sick hurry, its divided aims— Arnold

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Ailment implies something wrong that makes for unsoundness, weakness, or loss of well-being
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a bodily disease . . . may, after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part— Hawthorne

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Malady, especially as contrasted with disease, implies a deep-seated morbid condition or unwholesome abnormality
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how would they be troubled by this beauty, into which the soul with all its maladies had passed— Pater

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Distemper usually harks back to its earlier reference to human ailments and stresses a lack of balance or of a sense of proportion
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to seek of God more than we well can find, argues a strong distemper of the mind— Herrick

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Syndrome retains its implication of a group of contributory signs and symptoms
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lying is one of a syndrome or constellation of character traits that tend to be found in one another's company— Garvin

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partition ... is no more decisive in the Irish syndrome than emigration or the decline of rural marriage or the fallen state of Irish literature— Kelleher

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Disease — Dis*ease , n. [OE. disese, OF. desaise; des (L. dis ) + aise ease. See {Ease}.] 1. Lack of ease; uneasiness; trouble; vexation; disquiet. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] So all that night they passed in great disease. Spenser. [1913 Webster] To shield thee …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Disease — Dis*ease , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Diseased}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Diseasing}.] 1. To deprive of ease; to disquiet; to trouble; to distress. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] His double burden did him sore disease. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. To derange the vital… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • disease — (n.) early 14c., discomfort, inconvenience, from O.Fr. desaise lack, want; discomfort, distress; trouble, misfortune; disease, sickness, from des without, away (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + aise ease (see EASE (Cf. ease)). Sense of sickness, illness in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • disease — I noun affliction, ailment, attack, bodily deviation from health, bout of sickness, breakdown, chronic disability, collapse, condition, contagion, defect, deterioration, disability, discomfort, disorder, distemper, epidemic, handicap, ill health …   Law dictionary

  • Disease — Human disease redirects here. For the Slayer song, see Soundtrack to the Apocalypse. Flare up redirects here. For the Transformers character, see Flareup (Transformers). Medical condition redirects here. For the descriptive terminology using… …   Wikipedia

  • disease — diseasedly, adv. diseasedness, n. /di zeez /, n., v., diseased, diseasing. n. 1. a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection,… …   Universalium

  • disease — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Condition of ill health Nouns 1. disease, illness, sickness, ailment, ailing; morbidity, infirmity, ailment, indisposition; complaint, disorder, malady; functional disorder. 2. condition, affliction,… …   English dictionary for students

  • disease — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ common ▪ obscure, rare ▪ dangerous, serious ▪ mild ▪ acute …   Collocations dictionary

  • disease — dis|ease W1S3 [dıˈzi:z] n [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: desaise, from aise relaxed feeling, comfort ] 1.) [U and C] an illness which affects a person, animal, or plant ▪ She suffers from a rare disease of the brain. ▪ Heart disease runs …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • disease — n. 1) to come down with, contract a disease 2) to carry; spread (a) disease 3) to cure; prevent (a) disease 4) to eradicate, stamp out, wipe out (a) disease; to bring a disease under control 5) an acute; common; deadly; degenerative; fatal,… …   Combinatory dictionary


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