Meaning of DISEASE in English


dis ‧ ease S3 W1 /dɪˈziːz/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: desaise , from aise 'relaxed feeling, comfort' ]

1 . [uncountable and countable] an illness which affects a person, animal, or plant

disease of

She suffers from a rare disease of the brain.

His father died of heart disease.

She contracted the disease while she was abroad on holiday.

2 . [countable] something that is seriously wrong with society or with someone’s mind, behaviour etc:

Loneliness is a disease of our urban communities.

—diseased adjective :

diseased muscles

a diseased plant

• • •


■ verbs

▪ have a disease

How long have you had the disease?

▪ suffer from a disease

About three million people suffer from the disease.

▪ catch/get a disease ( also contract a disease formal )

He caught the disease while travelling in Africa.

▪ develop a disease

A few years ago, she developed a serious lung disease.

▪ pass on a disease ( also transmit a disease formal )

They may pass the disease on to their children.

▪ cause a disease

Smoking is probably the major factor causing heart disease.

▪ prevent a disease

It has been claimed that fibre in the diet could help prevent many serious diseases.

▪ treat a disease

The disease can be treated with antibiotics.

▪ cure a disease

The plant was believed to cure diseases in humans and cattle.

▪ fight (a) disease (=try to stop it continuing)

Some bacteria help the human body fight disease.

▪ a disease spreads

The government have no idea how far the disease has spread.


▪ common

common childhood diseases

▪ rare

She suffers from a rare bone disease.

▪ serious

vaccines against serious diseases like hepatitis and meningitis

▪ fatal/deadly (=that causes death)

If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.


Thousands of children are struck down by this deadly disease every year.

▪ incurable (=that cannot be cured)

Diseases that were once thought incurable can be treated with antibiotics.

▪ infectious/contagious (=that spreads quickly from one person to another)

The disease is highly contagious.

▪ a skin/brain/lung etc disease

The fumes have caused skin diseases among the villagers.

▪ heart/liver/kidney disease

He is being treated for kidney disease.

▪ a hereditary/inherited disease (=that is passed from parent to child)

Parents are offered screening for some hereditary diseases.

▪ a sexually-transmitted disease (=that is spread by having sex)

There was a worrying rise in the number of sexually-transmitted diseases.

▪ a degenerative disease (=that gradually gets worse)

She was suffering from a degenerative disease that confined her to a wheelchair.

▪ a chronic disease (=continuing for a long time and not possible to cure)

Chronic disease is sometimes seen as an inevitable part of being old.

■ phrases

▪ a cure for a disease

There is no known cure for this disease.

▪ an outbreak of a disease (=when a disease appears in a number of people or animals)

There has been an outbreak of the disease in Wales.

▪ the spread of a disease

Knowing the facts about AIDS can prevent the spread of the disease.

▪ the symptoms of a disease (=physical signs that someone has a disease)

To begin with, there are often no symptoms of the disease.

• • •


▪ illness something wrong with your health which makes you feel ill:

Her husband was in hospital for six months with a serious illness.

▪ disease a particular illness, especially one that spreads to other people easily or that affects one part of your body:

childhood diseases such as measles and chickenpox


heart disease

▪ infection an illness that is caused by ↑ bacteria or a ↑ virus :

His cough got worse and worse and became a chest infection.

▪ condition a health problem that affects you permanently or for a long time:

a medical condition such as asthma


a heart condition

▪ problem [usually after a noun] something that is wrong with a particular part of your body or your health in general:

a serious back problem


health problems

▪ trouble [singular, only after a noun] illness or pain that affects a particular part of your body:

I’ve had a bit of stomach trouble.

▪ disorder formal an illness that prevents a particular organ of your body from working properly, or affects the way you behave:

a liver disorder


a blood disorder


Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.