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


the English disease

; NAmE
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an expression that has been used by people in Europe about various different aspects of English life. In the 1960s and 1970s it meant the poor productivity of English factories and the many strikes by workers. In the 1980s it was used to refer to the bad behaviour of English football supporters, and more recently nostalgia (= preferring to look back to the past) has been described as the English disease.