General English


  • noun one of a group of diseases which cause the body to produce large amounts of urine.


  • noun a disorder in which the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin needed to convert the glucose from food into energy


  • noun one of a group of diseases, but most commonly used to refer to diabetes mellitus, a disease where the body cannot control sugar absorption because the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin

Origin & History of “diabetes”

Diabetes means literally ‘passing through’; it was originally so named in Greek because one of the symptoms of the disease is excessive discharge of urine. Greek diabḗtēs was a derivative of diabaínein ‘pass through’, a compound verb formed from the prefix dia- ‘through’ and baínein ‘go’ (a relative of English basis and come). English acquired it via medieval Latin diabētēs. compare (diarrhoea).