Definition of ailment noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈeɪlmənt//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈeɪlmənt//
Ailments and diseases
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an illness that is not very serious childhood/common/minor ailments I got all the usual childhood ailments. Below is a list of common childhood ailments. Synonymsdiseaseillness disorder infection condition ailment bugThese are all words for a medical problem.disease a medical problem affecting humans, animals or plants, often caused by infection:He suffers from a rare blood disease.illness a medical problem, or a period of suffering from one:She died after a long illness.disease or illness?Disease is used to talk about more severe physical medical problems, especially those that affect the organs. Illness is used to talk about both more severe and more minor medical problems, and those that affect mental health:heart/​kidney/​liver illness mental disease. Disease is not used about a period of illness:She died after a long disease.disorder (rather formal) an illness that causes a part of the body to stop functioning correctly:a rare disorder of the liver. A disorder is generally not infectious. Disorder is used most frequently with words relating to mental problems, for example psychiatric, personality, mental and eating. When it is used to talk about physical problems, it is most often used with blood, bowel and kidney, and these are commonly serious, severe or rare.infection an illness that is caused by bacteria or a virus and that affects one part of the body:a throat infectioncondition a medical problem that you have for a long time because it is not possible to cure it:a heart conditionailment (rather formal) an illness that is not very serious:childhood ailmentsbug (informal) an infectious illness that is usually fairly mild:a nasty flu bugPatterns to have/​suffer from a(n) disease/​illness/​disorder/​infection/​condition/​ailment/​bug to catch/​contract/​get/​pick up a(n) disease/​illness/​infection/​bug See related entries: Ailments and diseases
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ailment