The Meaning of Malaise: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what the word malaise means? This article will provide you with the meaning of malaise and how to use this word in a sentence.

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Have you ever felt generally lethargic, tired, or uneasy? You may have been experiencing a feeling of malaise. This article will define the word malaise and teach you how to use it in a sentence. 

After that, you will learn synonyms and antonyms of malaise, the origin of the word malaise, and translations of malaise. Read on to learn more! 

What Does Malaise Mean?

According to Dictionary, malaise is a noun that refers to a general feeling of discomfort or uneasiness. Sometimes, a feeling of malaise can mark the onset of different health conditions. It is also simply a vague feeling of uneasiness mentally or physically. The word malaise is two syllables (mal-aise), and the pronunciation of malaise is mæˈleɪz.

How Can Malaise Be Used in a Sentence?

Malaise is a fairly formal word that you might not hear very often. However, it is helpful to know how to use this word in a sentence. On the other hand, knowing the definition of a word and not how to use it in a sentence is not very helpful for practical use.

By studying the below example sentences, you can learn how to use the word malaise. First, see if you can identify who or what is a feeling malaise in each sentence. Then, try coming up with your examples of malaise!

Example #1: A Feeling of Malaise

The college freshman was feeling general malaise due to her mental health and medical conditions that prevented her from attending all of the events on campus that she wanted to go to. She felt like she was always cooped up in her dorm room all the time and couldn’t have any fun.

Question: Who feels malaise in the example above?

Answer: The college freshman.

Example #2: A Symptom of Malaise

Malaise, dizziness, and nausea are symptoms of a short-term ailment that can quickly grow serious. When the businessman went to the doctor with all of those symptoms, he was rushed to the local emergency room to make sure he was okay.

Question: Who feels malaise in the example above?

Answer: The businessman.

Example #3: General Malaise

After all of her children went off to college and her husband died, the middle-aged woman started feeling an ambiguous feeling of malaise. She went to a nearby therapist who diagnosed her with depression and put her on medication.

Question: Who feels malaise in the example above?

Answer: The middle-aged woman.

What Is the Etymology of Malaise?

Dictionary states that the word malaise originates from the French malaise. This Old French term comes from two roots: mal and ease. Mal means poor or bad, and ease means comfort or convenience. Therefore, malaise translates to discomfort. 

If you were familiar with the two roots of the word malaise, you could infer its definition. Often, if you know the roots of a certain English language word, you can determine its subject or its exact definition. Can you think of other English words that use the root mal?

What Are Translations of Malaise?

People around the world can feel malaise. To learn how to discuss feelings of malaise with people in other countries, you can use this list of translations of malaise from Nice Translator.

  • Slovak: malátnosť
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 萎靡不振
  • Indonesian: rasa tidak enak
  • Estonian: malakas
  • Malayalam: അസ്വായ്നം
  • Latvian: nespēks
  • Russian: недомогание
  • Thai: ป่วยไข้
  • Czech: nevolnost
  • Hungarian: rossz közérzet
  • Turkish: halsizlik
  • Ukrainian: нездужання
  • French: malaise
  • Swedish: obehag
  • Chinese (PRC): 萎靡不振
  • Finnish: huonovointi
  • Croatian: slabost
  • Polish: złe samopoczucie
  • Portuguese (Portugal): malestar
  • German: Unwohlsein
  • Catalan: malaestar
  • Welsh: malais
  • Hindi: अस्वस्थता
  • Gujarati: માલીઝ
  • Amharic: ማይል
  • Kannada: ಅಪಹಾಸ್ಯ
  • Japanese: 沈滞
  • Icelandic: mailise
  • Dutch: malaise
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Mal-estar
  • Urdu: مالک
  • Bulgarian: Малаиз
  • Danish: utilpashed
  • Marathi: malaise
  • Korean: 불쾌
  • Slovenian: slabo
  • Vietnamese: bất khả xâm phạm.
  • Spanish: malestar
  • Tamil: மோசம்
  • Hebrew: מְבוּכָה
  • Italian: malessere
  • Norwegian: ubehag
  • Arabic: توعك
  • Basque: gaitz
  • Serbian: малаиазно
  • Greek: δυσφορία

What Are Synonyms of Malaise?

Malaise is a fairly uncommon word that not a lot of people are familiar with. However, suppose you are trying to explain a feeling of malaise to someone else. In that case, it can be useful to know synonyms of malaise so that you can clarify what you mean by malaise—Power Thesaurus provides this list of synonyms of malaise.

  • affliction
  • agony
  • ailment
  • angst
  • anguish
  • anxiety
  • blahs
  • complaint
  • debility
  • decrepitude
  • dejection
  • depression
  • despair
  • despondency
  • discomfort
  • discontent
  • disease
  • disorder
  • displeasure
  • disquiet
  • disquietude
  • dissatisfaction
  • distress
  • doldrums
  • ennui
  • feebleness
  • foreboding
  • gloom
  • grief
  • illness
  • indisposition
  • infirmity
  • infirmness
  • inquietude
  • languor
  • lassitude
  • listlessness
  • malady
  • melancholy
  • misery
  • morbidity
  • pain
  • restlessness
  • saturninity
  • sickliness
  • sickness
  • suffering
  • unease
  • uneasiness
  • unhappiness
  • unhealthiness
  • unrest
  • upset
  • weakness
  • weariness

What Are Antonyms of Malaise?

There are also plenty of words with opposite definitions of the word malaise, which are listed below from Power Thesaurus. For example, if someone is full of life, energy, and comfort, you can describe them with one of the following words. Do you usually feel more malaise or more energy?

  • activity
  • advantage
  • aid
  • alleviation
  • amusement
  • animation
  • anticipation
  • apparent interest
  • assurance
  • attraction
  • audacity
  • avid interest
  • backbone
  • beatitude
  • blessing
  • bliss
  • blissfulness
  • blitheness
  • boldness
  • braveness
  • bravery
  • buoyancy
  • calm
  • carefreeness
  • charm
  • cheer
  • cheerfulness
  • cheeriness
  • cloud nine
  • comfort
  • confidence
  • considerable interest
  • contentedness
  • contentment
  • conviviality
  • courage
  • daring
  • dauntlessness
  • delectation
  • delight
  • ecstasy
  • encouragement
  • enjoyment
  • exulting
  • felicity
  • fun
  • happiness
  • health
  • healthiness
  • hopefulness
  • merriment
  • physical health
  • security policy
  • welfare
  • well being
  • well-being


The definition of malaise (mă-lāz) is a noun that refers to a general feeling of weakness, discomfort, or uneasiness. People can use malaise to refer to a mental or physical upset. Sometimes, malaise marks a symptom of a disease. Other times, malaise is simply mental unwellness. 


  1. Malaise antonyms – 198 Opposites of Malaise | Power Thesaurus
  2. Malaise synonyms – 1 060 Words and Phrases for Malaise | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Malaise Definition & Meaning | 
  4. Malaise | Nice Translator