Illness vs Disease

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What’s the difference between them?

Illness

Meaning:

An illness is a medical condition that causes an individual to feel unwell and experience symptoms such as pain, fatigue, nausea, or discomfort.

Examples:

1. When she contracted the illness, she was bedridden for a week.

2. He was absent from school due to an illness.

3. Her mother was admitted to the hospital due to a serious illness.

Disease

Meaning:

A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.

Examples:

1. Cancer is a serious disease that affects millions of people worldwide.

2. I'm glad to hear that the doctor has successfully treated your disease.

3. The spread of infectious diseases is a major public health concern.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Illness

1. Malady

2. Sickness

3. Disease

4. Dis-ease

5. Ailment

1. Health

2. Robustness

3. Prospering

4. Well-being

5. Immunity

Disease

1. Malady

2. Illness

3. Sickness

4. Pathology

5. Affliction

1. Health

2. Immunity

3. Wellbeing

4. Cure

5. Improve health

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Illness", "Disease".

1. Think of illness as an internal experience, and disease as an external physical condition.

2. Remember that illness is a broad term that can include mental and physical health, and disease is a physical disorder.

3. When discussing medical conditions, be sure to specify whether you are referring to an illness or a disease.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

The word 'illness' is used to describe a medical condition that causes an individual to experience symptoms such as pain, fatigue, nausea, or discomfort.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

The word 'disease' is used to describe a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. The word 'illness' is pronounced /ilnes/, while disease is pronounced /dizi:z/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake people make when using these words is thinking that the terms 'illness' and 'disease' are interchangeable and can be used in the same contexts. However, they have different meanings, and should only be used in the appropriate context.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. After experiencing a high fever for several days, the patient was diagnosed with an __________.

2. The __________ was highly contagious and spread quickly throughout the area.

3. Common __________ can include colds, flu, and stomach viruses.

4. The __________ was caused by a bacteria that had been in the water supply.

5. The __________ was so severe that the patient had to be hospitalized.

6. The patient was given medication to fight the __________.

1. After experiencing a high fever for several days, the patient was diagnosed with an illness.

Explanation: Illness is a general term that can refer to any type of physical or mental condition that causes discomfort or distress.

2. The disease was highly contagious and spread quickly throughout the area.

Explanation: Disease refers to a specific condition or medical disorder that is caused by a virus, bacteria, or other microorganism. In this case, the disease is highly contagious and can spread quickly.

3. Common illnesses can include colds, flu, and stomach viruses.

Explanation: Illness refers to any type of physical or mental condition that causes discomfort or distress. Common illnesses typically include colds, flu, and stomach viruses, which are all relatively minor but can still cause discomfort.

4. The disease was caused by a bacteria that had been in the water supply.

Explanation: Disease refers to a specific condition or medical disorder that is caused by a virus, bacteria, or other microorganism. In this case, the disease was caused by a bacteria found in the water supply.

5. The illness was so severe that the patient had to be hospitalized.

Explanation: Illness is a general term that can refer to any type of physical or mental condition that causes discomfort or distress. In this case, the illness was so severe that the patient had to be hospitalized.

6. The patient was given medication to fight the disease.

Explanation: Disease refers to a specific condition or medical disorder that is caused by a virus, bacteria, or other microorganism. The medication given to the patient is meant to fight the specific disease, not a general illness.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.