AskDefine | Define morbidity

Dictionary Definition



1 the ratio of deaths in an area to the population of that area; expressed per 1000 per year [syn: deathrate, death rate, mortality, mortality rate, fatality rate]
2 the relative incidence of a particular disease
3 the quality of being unhealthful and generally bad for you [syn: unwholesomeness, morbidness] [ant: wholesomeness]

User Contributed Dictionary



From morbid, from morbidus diseased, from morbus disease, from mori to die.


  1. The ratio of deaths to the population; expressed in 1000 per year; death rate.
  2. The quality of being unhealthful, morbid; morbidness.
  3. The incidence of a disease.
  4. medicine countable An occurrence of illness or disease, or a single symptom of that illness.
  5. medicine countable Adverse effects caused by a medical treatment such as surgery.

Related terms


The ratio of deaths to the population; expressed in 1000 per year; death rate
The quality of being unhealthful, morbid; morbidness
The incidence of a disease
An occurrence of illness or disease, or a single symptom of that illness

Extensive Definition

In medicine, epidemiology and actuarial science, the term morbidity can refer to
  • the state of being diseased (from Latin morbidus: sick, unhealthy),
  • the degree or severity of a disease,
  • the prevalence of a disease: the total number of cases in a particular population at a particular point in time,
  • the incidence of a disease: the number of new cases in a particular population during a particular time interval.
  • disability irrespective of cause (e.g., disability caused by accidents).
The term morbidity rate can refer either to the incidence rate or to the prevalence rate of a disease. Compare this with the mortality rate of a condition, which is the number of people dying during a given time interval, divided by the total number of people in the population. Morbidity is often measured by ICU scoring systems.

See also

morbidity in German: Morbidität
morbidity in Spanish: Morbilidad
morbidity in French: Taux de morbidité
morbidity in Indonesian: Morbiditas
morbidity in Italian: Morbosità (medicina)
morbidity in Serbian: Морбидитет
morbidity in Swedish: Morbiditet
morbidity in Chinese: 发病率

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abnormality, acute disease, affection, affliction, ailment, allergic disease, allergy, atrophy, bacterial disease, birth defect, blight, cachexia, cachexy, cardiovascular disease, chronic disease, chronic ill health, circulatory disease, complaint, complication, condition, congenital defect, debilitation, debility, decrepitude, defect, deficiency disease, deformity, degenerative disease, delicacy, delicate health, disability, disease, disorder, distemper, endemic, endemic disease, endocrine disease, enervation, epidemic disease, exhaustion, feebleness, fragility, frailty, functional disease, fungus disease, gastrointestinal disease, genetic disease, handicap, healthlessness, hereditary disease, hypochondria, hypochondriasis, iatrogenic disease, ill health, illness, indisposition, infectious disease, infirmity, invalidism, invalidity, languishing, languishment, malady, malaise, morbidness, morbus, muscular disease, neurological disease, nutritional disease, occupational disease, organic disease, pandemic disease, pathological condition, pathology, peakedness, plant disease, poor health, protozoan disease, psychosomatic disease, respiratory disease, rockiness, secondary disease, seediness, sickishness, sickliness, sickness, signs, symptomatology, symptomology, symptoms, syndrome, the pip, unhealthiness, unsoundness, unwholesomeness, urogenital disease, valetudinarianism, virus disease, wasting, wasting disease, weakliness, worm disease
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