Definition of diabetes in English:


(also diabetes mellitus)


mass noun
  • A disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

    There are two main types of diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the body lacks the cells which produce insulin in the pancreas. In Type 2 diabetes (which is more common, and often develops later in life) the cells of the body fail to respond to insulin normally and the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. See also diabetes insipidus

    • ‘Rarely, diabetes can be caused by a disease of the pancreas called pancreatitis.’
    • ‘His brother died of scarlet fever, many other villagers succumbed to asthma and diabetes.’
    • ‘The main cause of death in our cohort with diabetes was ischaemic heart disease.’
    • ‘It also focuses on major health issues like heart disease, asthma and diabetes.’
    • ‘Only in this way will the epidemic of diabetes witnessed in south Asians be arrested and reversed.’
    • ‘The prevalence of diabetes in India is likely to go on increasing and to constitute a major health burden.’
    • ‘John had lived with diabetes for 15 years and had a longer history of hypertension.’
    • ‘People with type 1 diabetes should carry glucose gel or some sugary food with them at all times.’
    • ‘I note that Dr. Penney, in 1983, was aware that some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy.’
    • ‘Members suffer from illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.’
    • ‘People with chronic diseases like diabetes should get greater support in the community and at home.’
    • ‘Exercise does not just lower our chances of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.’
    • ‘The fetal environment seems to have a strong influence on risk of type 1 diabetes in the child.’
    • ‘People with excess body fat have a greater risk for such illnesses as diabetes and hypertension.’
    • ‘The first woman was obese, had diabetes, and was diagnosed as having liver cirrhosis.’
    • ‘Obesity is a risk factor for heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and diabetes.’
    • ‘It's not just diabetes and heart disease that threaten to overwhelm us if we continue to eat a high fat diet.’
    • ‘Certain diseases, such as diabetes, can cause a cataract to occur at an earlier age than normal.’
    • ‘Her mother died four days later, with pneumonia and diabetes as the cause of death.’
    • ‘He had also completely lost his sight because of the ravages of many years of poorly controlled diabetes.’


Mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek, literally ‘siphon’, from diabainein ‘go through’; mellitus is from Latin mellitus ‘sweet’.