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[al-er-jee] /ˈæl ər dʒi/
noun, plural allergies.
an abnormal reaction of the body to a previously encountered allergen introduced by inhalation, ingestion, injection, or skin contact, often manifested by itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing, skin rash, or diarrhea.
hypersensitivity to the reintroduction of an allergen.
Compare anaphylaxis.
Informal. a strong dislike or aversion, as toward a person or activity:
He has an allergy to hard work.
Origin of allergy
1910-15; < Greek áll(os) other + -ergy < Greek -ergia, equivalent to érg(on) activity + -ia -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for allergy
  • The field of food allergy has, in fact, become rife with controversy.
  • Never underestimate the power of a springtime allergy.
  • Cleaning your carpet with non-toxic solutions eases allergy and asthma symptoms.
  • Bears little or no pollen-a boon to allergy sufferers-and no fruit.
  • Jiggers develops a sawdust allergy and turns to gardening.
  • Among allergy sufferers, there is a widespread belief that locally produced honey can help build immunity local allergens.
  • The tweets also revealed allergy patterns, cancer rates, self-medication behavior and over-the-counter drug misuse.
  • allergy skin tests help diagnose for allergic asthma, although they are not recommended for people with year-round asthma.
  • The eyes give it away first, the telltale signs of allergy sufferers who have been zombies for about a week now.
  • Trial participants raved about their allergy symptoms disappearing.
British Dictionary definitions for allergy


noun (pl) -gies
a hypersensitivity to a substance that causes the body to react to any contact with that substance. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen
(informal) aversion: he has an allergy to studying
Word Origin
C20: from German Allergie (indicating a changed reaction), from Greek allos other + ergon activity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for allergy

1911, from German Allergie, coined 1906 by Austrian pediatrician Clemens E. von Pirquet (1874-1929) from Greek allos "other, different, strange" (see alias (adv.)) + ergon "activity" (see urge (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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allergy in Medicine

allergy al·ler·gy (āl'ər-jē)
An abnormally high acquired sensitivity to certain substances, such as drugs, pollens, or microorganisms, that may include such symptoms as sneezing, itching, and skin rashes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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allergy in Science
An abnormally high immunologic sensitivity to certain stimuli such as drugs, foods, environmental irritants, microorganisms, or physical conditions, such as temperature extremes. These stimuli act as antigens, provoking an immunological response involving the release of inflammatory substances, such as histamine, in the body. Allergies may be innate or acquired in genetically predisposed individuals. Common symptoms include sneezing, itching, and skin rashes, though in some individuals symptoms can be severe. See also anaphylactic shock.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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allergy in Culture

allergy definition

A highly sensitive reaction of the body to certain substances, such as pollen, that are present in amounts that do not affect most people. Common indications of allergy include sneezing, skin rashes, itching, and runny nose.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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