Malaise ( muh-LAZE) is a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness, of being "out of sorts", often the first indication of an infection or other disease. The word has existed in the French language since at least the 12th century.
The term is also often used figuratively in other contexts; for example, "economic malaise" refers to an economy that is stagnant or in recession (compare depression). The term is particularly associated with the US 1973–75 recession. A speech made by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 is commonly referred to as the "malaise" speech, although the term was not in the speech.
Malaise is a non-specific symptom and can present in the slightest ailment, such as an emotion (causing fainting, a vasovagal response) or hunger (light hypoglycemia), to the most serious conditions (cancer, stroke, heart attack, internal bleeding, etc.).
Malaise expresses a patient's uneasiness that "something is not right" that may need a medical examination to determine the significance.
Notes and references
- ^ One example can be found in The Next 200 Years: A Scenario for America and the World, by Herman Kahn et al., published in 1976, p. 2.