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



    BrE BrE//dɪˈziːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈziːz//
    Ailments and diseases
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] an illness affecting humans, animals or plants, often caused by infection heart/liver/kidney, etc. disease health measures to prevent the spread of disease an infectious/contagious disease (= one that can be passed to somebody very easily) It is not known what causes the disease. protection against sexually transmitted diseases He suffers from a rare blood disease. A fatty diet increases the risk of heart disease. the problem of controlling pests and disease with organic gardening methods 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 Wordfinderchemotherapy, cure, disease, drug, injection, medication, osteopathy, palliative, physiotherapy, radiotherapy CollocationsIllnessesBecoming ill catch a cold/​an infectious disease/​the flu/(British English) flu/​pneumonia/​a virus/(informal) a bug get (British English) ill/(North American English) sick/​a disease/​AIDS/​breast cancer/​a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu/​a migraine come down with a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu contract a deadly disease/​a serious illness/​HIV/​AIDS be infected with a virus/​a parasite/​HIV develop cancer/​diabetes/​a rash/​an ulcer/​symptoms of hepatitis have a heart attack/​a stroke provoke/​trigger/​produce an allergic reaction block/​burst/​rupture a blood vessel damage/​sever a nerve/​an artery/​a tendonBeing ill feel (British English) ill/​sick/​nauseous/​queasy be running (British English) a temperature/(North American English) a fever have a head cold/​diabetes/​heart disease/​lung cancer/​a headache/(British English) a high temperature/(North American English) a fever suffer from asthma/​malnutrition/​frequent headaches/​bouts of depression/​a mental disorder be laid up with/ (British English) be in bed with a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu/​a migraine nurse a cold/​a headache/​a hangover battle/​fight cancer/​depression/​addiction/​alcoholismTreatments examine a patient diagnose a condition/​disease/​disorder be diagnosed with cancer/​diabetes/​schizophrenia prescribe/​be given/​be on/​take drugs/​medicine/​medication/​pills/​painkillers/​antibiotics treat somebody for cancer/​depression/​shock have/​undergo an examination/​an operation/​surgery/​a kidney transplant/​therapy/​chemotherapy/​treatment for cancer have/​be given an injection/(British English) a flu jab/(North American English) a flu shot/​a blood transfusion/​a scan/​an X-ray cure a disease/​an ailment/​cancer/​a headache/​a patient prevent the spread of disease/​further outbreaks/​damage to the lungs be vaccinated against the flu/(British English) flu/​the measles/(British English) measles/​polio/​smallpox enhance/​boost/​confer/​build immunity to a disease Wordfinderbacteria, disease, epidemic, fever, illness, immunity, infection, spread, vaccinate, virus See related entries: Ailments and diseases
  2. 2[countable] (formal) something that is very wrong with people’s attitudes, way of life or with society Greed is a disease of modern society.
  3. Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘lack of ease; inconvenience’): from Old French desaise ‘lack of ease’, from des- (expressing reversal) + aise ‘ease’.Extra examples Children are still dying in their millions from preventable diseases. Drugs can slow down the progression of the disease, but not cure it altogether. He has a serious lung disease. He suffered from coronary heart disease It’s better to prevent disease by ensuring a clean water supply. She got a rare liver disease when she was only twenty. Such unhygienic practices spread disease. Sufferers from Alzheimer’s disease can’t cope at home. The disease has been eradicated from the world. The disease has killed 500 people so far this year. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. The government must take action to fight this deadly disease. They want to stop the disease from spreading. Tobacco lowers the body’s resistance to disease. You can’t catch the disease just from physical contact. a disease caused by a vitamin deficiency a disease of the digestive system childhood diseases such as mumps and chicken pox fears of a new killer disease fears of an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease measures to prevent the spread of the disease new drugs which help to control the disease patients suffering from venereal disease the number of people with this disease the overall incidence of disease in the world the risk of coronary heart disease the ticks that carry the disease He talked about controlling pests and disease with organic gardening methods. Measures have been taken to prevent the spread of disease. The problem was finally diagnosed as heart disease. This is an extremely infectious disease.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: disease