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Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English dīarīa[1], from Middle French diarrie (French diarrhée), from Late Latin diarrhoea, from Ancient Greek διάρροια (diárrhoia, through-flowing), from διά (diá, through) + ῥέω (rhéō, flow). Spelling later altered to resemble the word's Latin and Greek roots.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌdaɪ.əˈɹiː.ə/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːə


diarrhea (countable and uncountable, plural diarrheas)

  1. A gastrointestinal disorder characterized by frequent and very soft or watery bowel movements.
  2. The watery or very soft excrement that comes from such bowel movements.
    • 2008, Danna Korn and Connie Sarros, Gluten-Free Cooking for Dummies, Chapter 1:
      My Pampers bill is higher than your paycheck, my hands are raw from washing them every six minutes, and I do eight loads of laundry a day because everything we own is covered in diarrhea, and you want me to "plug him up" and wait another three weeks?
    • 2009, Daniel Everett, Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes[1], page 47:
      I looked and saw that she and her hammock were covered in diarrhea.
    • 2014, L. A. Knight, Dog Training the American Male, 221:
      Why was she covered in diarrhea?

Usage notesEdit

  • Diarrhea is the American spelling; diarrhoea is the British / Irish spelling.



Related termsEdit

Related termsEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ dīarīa in the Middle English Dictionary (June 5th, 2022)