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[ma-leyz, -muh-; French ma-lez] /mæˈleɪz, -mə-; French maˈlɛz/
a condition of general bodily weakness or discomfort, often marking the onset of a disease.
a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy, or discomfort.
Origin of malaise
1760-70; < French, Old French; see mal-, ease Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for malaise
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The next morning we had very little appetite, no ambition, and a miserable sense of malaise and great fatigue.

    Inca Land Hiram Bingham
  • An incident showed me that his malaise was curable by one method only.

    William Sharp (Fiona Macleod) Elizabeth A. Sharp
  • The majority were more than momentarily tired, they were visibly suffering from some sort of malaise.

    Mount Everest the Reconnaissance, 1921 Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury
  • For me I am within a month of the period immune, and only feel a malaise in her company.

  • One hour's opportune rest on a Chesterfield may save hours of malaise and headache.

    The Quiver 12/1899 Anonymous
British Dictionary definitions for malaise


a feeling of unease or depression
a mild sickness, not symptomatic of any disease or ailment
a complex of problems affecting a country, economy, etc: Bulgaria's economic malaise
Word Origin
C18: from Old French, from mal bad + aiseease
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 malaise

c.1300, maleise "pain, suffering; sorrow, anxiety," also, by late 14c., "disease, sickness," from Old French malaise "difficulty, suffering, hardship," literally "ill-ease," from mal "bad" (see mal-) + aise "ease" (see ease (n.)). The current use is perhaps a mid-18c. reborrowing from Modern French. A Middle English verbal form, malasen "to trouble, distress" (mid-15c.), from Old French malaisier, did not endure.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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malaise in Medicine

malaise mal·aise (mā-lāz', -lěz')
A vague feeling of bodily discomfort, as at the beginning of an illness.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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