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.

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


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