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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
  • Troubled by what he saw as China's spiritual malaise, he soon abandoned medicine to pursue literature.
  • This creates a sort of malaise because they'll never be satisfied.
  • And he comes to grip with a malaise that has been with him since childhood.
  • There's ample melody in the music, and the lyrics hold anguish and malaise.
  • Since then my dream has become a malaise, and I continue to work as a secretary.
  • But pleasure offers more of the same: a moment's enthusiasm, followed by dull malaise.
  • It began its long malaise as one of the richest societies on earth.
  • Your malaise is not uncommon, as you will see if you stick around for a while.
  • The greenback's malaise is now so bad that currency specialists are considering central bank intervention to halt the rout.
  • But in the mid- and long-term the malaise won't have been cured.
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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