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[dahy-uh-ree-uh] /ˌdaɪ əˈri ə/
noun, Pathology
an intestinal disorder characterized by abnormal frequency and fluidity of fecal evacuations.
Also, diarrhoea.
Origin of diarrhea
1350-1400; Middle English diaria < Late Latin diarrhoea < Greek diárrhoia a flowing through, equivalent to diarrho- (variant stem of diarrheîn to flow through) + -ia -ia
Related forms
diarrheal, diarrheic, diarrhetic
[dahy-uh-ret-ik] /ˌdaɪ əˈrɛt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
diarrhoeal, diarrhoeic, diarrhoetic, adjective
antidiarrheal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for diarrhea
  • People with diarrhea will have frequent, loose, watery stools.
  • Flies spread bacteria that cause diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid and cholera.
  • When I have flares, they consist mostly of joint pain, deep fatigue and diarrhea.
  • Cipro, commonly prescribed for traveler's diarrhea and urinary tract infections, isn't cheap.
  • Here, certain key phrases like “having diarrhea” or “has diarrhea” lead the system to identify a chief complaint.
  • When ingested, the bug can cause diarrhea, often with bloody stools.
  • It's also particularly effective for tightening up diarrhea.
  • The condition can trigger diarrhea and impede nutrient absorption.
  • Salmonella can cause symptoms including diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.
  • I've had many experiences of my animals (both feline and canine) getting diarrhea from antibiotics.
British Dictionary definitions for diarrhea


frequent and copious discharge of abnormally liquid faeces
Derived Forms
diarrhoeal, diarrhoeic, especially (US) diarrheal, diarrheic, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin, from Greek diarrhoia, from diarrhein to flow through, from dia- + rhein to flow
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 diarrhea

late 14c., from Old French diarrie, from Late Latin diarrhoea, from Greek diarrhoia "diarrhea" (coined by Hippocrates), literally "a flowing through," from diarrhein "to flow through," from dia- "through" (see dia-) + rhein "to flow" (see rheum). Respelled 16c. from diarria on Latin model.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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diarrhea in Medicine

diarrhea di·ar·rhe·a or di·ar·rhoe·a (dī'ə-rē'ə)
Excessive and frequent evacuation of watery feces.

di'ar·rhe'al or di'ar·rhe'ic (-ĭk) or di'ar·rhet'ic (-rět'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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diarrhea in Science
Excessive and frequent evacuation of watery feces, usually a symptom of a gastrointestinal disorder. Severe, prolonged diarrhea can lead to dehydration.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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diarrhea in Culture
diarrhea [(deye-uh-ree-uh)]

The frequent passage of abnormally watery feces, which is a sign of illness.

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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