General English


  • noun an illness of people, animals or plants

Health Economics

  • (written as Disease)
    The economic determinants of specific diseases, the cost-effectiveness of strategies for their prevention or cure, and the consequences (economic, social and personal) of disease are to be found in innumerable economic research studies.


Origin & History of “disease”

Disease and malaise are parallel formations: both denote etymologically an ‘impairment of ease or comfort’. Disease comes from Old French desaise, a compound formed from the prefix dis- ‘not, lacking’ and aise ‘ease’, and in fact at first meant literally ‘discomfort’ or ‘uneasiness’. It was only towards the end of the 14th century that this sense began to narrow down in English to ‘sickness’. (Malaise was borrowed from French malaise, an Old French formation from mal ‘bad’ and aise.).