Meaning of DISEASE in English


1. an illness

2. to have an illness

3. to start to have an illness

4. a short illness

5. when a lot of people have an illness




1. an illness

▷ illness /ˈɪlnɪs, ˈɪlnəs/ [countable/uncountable noun]

a health problem that you are suffering from which makes you feel ill :

▪ She died yesterday after a long illness.

suffer from an illness

▪ People are often too embarrassed to admit that they have suffered from any form of mental illness.

recover from an illness

▪ 80% of patients now recover completely from this illness and are able to lead perfectly normal lives.

contract an illness

formal get or begin to have an illness, especially a serious one

▪ Doctors believe he may have contracted the illness while he was in Africa.

minor illness

one that is not serious

▪ Minor illnesses such as colds are usually best left to get better by themselves.

terminal illness

one that cannot be cured and causes death

▪ Should doctors always tell patients that they have terminal illnesses such as cancer?

serious illness

one that makes you very ill

▪ You are allowed time off work only in cases of serious illness or bereavement.

▷ disease /dɪˈziːz/ [countable/uncountable noun]

a particular illness that has a medical name :

▪ The most common symptoms of the disease are a high temperature and spots all over the body.

▪ Thousands of people in this area are dying from hunger and disease.

catch a disease

get a disease from another person

▪ Anyone can catch the disease -- not just homosexual men or drug addicts.

suffer from a disease

have a disease

▪ She suffers from a rare disease of the nervous system.

infectious disease

easily passed from one person to another by breathing

▪ Travellers to India are advised to get vaccinated against infectious diseases such as typhoid before they go.

contagious disease

easily passed from one person to another by touch

▪ Childhood diseases such as measles and chickenpox are highly contagious.

fatal disease

one which causes death

▪ Malaria is still a common disease in West Africa and is often fatal.

heart/lung/kidney etc disease

▪ Smoking is a major cause of heart disease.

▷ virus /ˈvaɪ ə rəs/ [countable noun]

a small living thing that causes infectious illnesses, or a type of infectious illness :

▪ the virus that causes the common cold

▪ He could be carrying the AIDS virus.

▪ It is estimated that over thirty million people are now infected with the virus.

▪ a vaccine which protects against Hepatitis B, a highly infectious virus which is transmitted sexually or by sharing infected needles.

▪ She thinks she picked up some kind of mystery virus while she was on vacation.

▷ bug /bʌg/ [countable noun] informal

an illness that people catch very easily from each other but that is not very serious :

pick up a bug

get a bug

▪ I think I’ve picked up the bug that’s been going round the office.

stomach/tummy bug

illness affecting the stomach

▪ Gemima’s been off school with a tummy bug this week.

catch a bug

▪ Young schoolkids are always catching various bugs.

▷ infection /ɪnˈfekʃ ə n/ [countable noun]

an illness that is caused by bacteria and that affects one part of your body, such as your ears, throat, lungs, or skin :

▪ If you don’t clean the wound properly you could get an infection.

throat/ear/lung etc infection

▪ Roz was suffering from a throat infection and could hardly talk.

▷ condition /kənˈdɪʃ ə n/ [countable noun]

a problem that affects someone’s health permanently or over a long period of time :

▪ People with your condition should not smoke.

suffer from a condition

▪ Diane suffers from a rare heart condition which means she has to take drugs all the time.

▷ ailment /ˈeɪlmənt/ [countable noun usually plural] formal

an illness of condition, especially one that affects a particular part of your body :

▪ The medicine was supposed to cure all kinds of ailments, ranging from colds to back pains.

▪ The most commonly reported ailment among VDU operators is eye-strain.

minor ailment

▪ Patients who often complain of minor ailments might have something more important on their minds.

▷ disorder /dɪsˈɔːʳdəʳ/ [countable noun]

an illness that prevents part of your body from working properly or affects the way you behave, especially one that is permanent or continues for a long time :

eating/personality disorder

▪ Children with eating disorders such as anorexia need close supervision.

stomach/liver/skin etc disorder

▪ Minor stomach disorders are common when travelling abroad.

▪ Eventually after weeks of tests they discovered I had a rare liver disorder.

disorder of the liver/stomach/brain etc

▪ The hospital specializes in treating disorders of the brain.

▷ complaint /kəmˈpleɪnt/ [countable noun]

an illness that affects a particular part of your body, especially one that is not very serious - used especially by doctors or in medical books :

▪ The cream is normally used for treating minor skin complaints.

▪ Hay fever is a common complaint in spring and summer.

2. to have an illness

▷ have also have got British /hæv, həv ˈgɒtǁ-ˈgɑːt/ [transitive verb]

to have an illness :

▪ Beth has an awful cold.

▪ I had all the usual childhood illnesses.

▪ Have you ever had pneumonia?

▪ I think Jo’s got flu.

▷ suffer from /ˈsʌfəʳ frɒm/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to have a particular type of illness or health problem, especially one that is serious or one that you have often :

▪ Dewey had been in hospital for several weeks suffering from malaria.

▪ She suffers from asthma attacks.

▷ there’s something wrong with /ðeəʳz ˌsʌmθɪŋ ˈrɒŋ wɪðǁ-ˈrɔːǁŋ-/ informal

use this to say that you have a medical problem affecting part of your body, but you are not sure exactly what it is :

▪ There’s something wrong with my chest - it feels really tight.

▪ We thought there might be something wrong with her hearing.

▷ with /wɪð, wɪθ/ [preposition]

use this before the name of a disease, to say that someone has this disease :

▪ ‘Where’s Helen?’ ‘She’s in bed with flu.’

▪ The charity provides support for people with AIDS.

▷ complain of /kəmˈpleɪn ɒv/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to tell a doctor that you have a particular kind of pain or other sign of being ill - used especially to say what the person who is ill said :

▪ He was admitted to hospital complaining of severe stomach pains.

▪ Many patients complain of headaches and difficulty sleeping when they take this drug.

▷ be infected with /biː ɪnˈfektə̇d wɪð/ [verb phrase]

to have an illness, especially a serious illness, that you caught from another person :

▪ Figures released last week put the number of people infected with HIV at over 30,000.

▪ Did you know when you first met him that he was infected with the disease?

3. to start to have an illness

▷ get /get/ [transitive verb]

to start to have an illness :

▪ I feel all hot - I think I’m getting flu.

▪ Smoking increases the risk of getting cancer.

get something from/off someone

get an infectious disease from someone else

▪ He thinks he got the cold from someone in the office.

▷ catch /kætʃ/ [transitive verb]

to get a disease from someone else :

▪ Luke has measles. I hope I don’t catch it.

catch something from/off somebody

▪ I think I must have caught the flu from Sarah.

▷ come down with also go down with something British /ˌkʌm ˈdaʊn wɪð, ˌgəʊ ˈdaʊn wɪð something/ [transitive phrasal verb] spoken

to start to have an illness, especially one that is not serious :

▪ I’m afraid we can’t come this weekend - the baby’s gone down with a sore throat.

▷ pick up /ˌpɪk ˈʌp/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to get a not very serious illness such as a cold, a stomach problem etc - use this especially to say where you got it :

pick up something

▪ I picked up a stomach bug on holiday in Turkey.

pick something up

▪ Brendan has a cold. He must have picked it up at school.

▷ develop /dɪˈveləp/ [transitive verb not in passive]

to gradually become ill with a particular illness, but not by catching it from someone else :

▪ After her family brought her home from hospital, she developed pneumonia.

▪ It is possible to develop diabetes in adulthood.

development [uncountable noun]

▪ a vaccine to prevent the development of influenza

▷ contract /kənˈtrækt/ [transitive verb]

to get a serious illness - used especially in formal or medical contexts :

▪ Orwell contracted tuberculosis during the war and eventually died from the disease.

▪ Dr Chalmers is trying to find out how many people may have contracted the disease in her area.

4. a short illness

▷ attack /əˈtæk/ [countable noun]

when you suddenly begin to have an illness that you often have, especially when this only continues for a short time :

▪ One of my students suddenly had an attack of asthma and I didn’t know what to do.

▪ Malaria often doesn’t go away completely, and a patient may suffer from repeated attacks over several years.

▷ a bout of /ə ˈbaʊt ɒv/ [noun phrase]

a short period of suffering from an illness, especially one that is not serious :

▪ In recent months he had had several bouts of flu.

▪ The patient may experience bouts of nausea as a result of the treatment.

▷ a touch of /ə ˈtʌtʃ ɒv/ [noun phrase] informal

a short period of suffering from an illness that is not serious :

▪ It’s nothing serious -- just a touch of indigestion.

▪ I feel like I’m getting a touch of flu.

5. when a lot of people have an illness

▷ outbreak /ˈaʊtbreɪk/ [countable noun]

when a lot of people suddenly start to get an illness at the same time :

outbreak of

▪ Doctors are very concerned about an outbreak of tuberculosis in an East London School.

▷ epidemic /ˌepɪˈdemɪk, ˌepəˈdemɪk/ [countable noun]

when a lot of people in an area or country get a disease, and it spreads very quickly :

▪ AIDS has become an epidemic in some countries.

▪ Doctors warn that a flu epidemic may be on the way.

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