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[mawr-bid] /ˈmɔr bɪd/
suggesting an unhealthy mental state or attitude; unwholesomely gloomy, sensitive, extreme, etc.:
a morbid interest in death.
affected by, caused by, causing, or characteristic of disease.
pertaining to diseased parts:
morbid anatomy.
gruesome; grisly.
Origin of morbid
1650-60; < Latin morbidus sickly, equivalent to morb(us) sickness + -idus -id4
Related forms
morbidly, adverb
morbidness, noun
premorbid, adjective
premorbidly, adverb
premorbidness, noun
unmorbid, adjective
unmorbidly, adverb
unmorbidness, noun
2. unwholesome, diseased, unhealthy, sick, sickly; tainted, corrupted, vitiated.
1. cheerful. 2. healthy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for morbid
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Death's Jest-Book is perhaps the most morbid poem in our literature.

  • Philip himself, too, was morbid in his excessive tenderness for this boy.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • After the morbid fancies of the preceding evening he felt sad and depressed.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • I shrunk with morbid nervousness from owning to any knowledge of Eugen.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • Daylight, good sense, common affection did but need to breathe into this morbid house, and all might yet be right.

British Dictionary definitions for morbid


having an unusual interest in death or unpleasant events
relating to or characterized by disease; pathologic: a morbid growth
Derived Forms
morbidly, adverb
morbidness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin morbidus sickly, from morbus illness
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 morbid

1650s, "of the nature of a disease, indicative of a disease," from Latin morbidus "diseased," from morbus "sickness, disease, ailment, illness," from root of mori "to die," which is possibly from PIE root *mer- "to rub, pound, wear away" (cf. Sanskrit mrnati "crushes, bruises;" Greek marainein "to consume, exhaust, put out, quench," marasmus "consumption"). Transferred use, of mental states, is from 1777. Related: Morbidly; morbidness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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morbid in Medicine

morbid mor·bid (môr'bĭd)

  1. Relating to or caused by disease; pathological or diseased.

  2. Psychologically unhealthy or unwholesome.

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