One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person who is unduly anxious about their health.
hypochondriac, neurotic, invalid, valetudinaryView synonyms
- ‘I replied by giving him a full, complete, and accurate history of my ailments, after the manner of valetudinarians.’
- ‘The English people are a nation of valetudinarians, but there is not sufficient nutriment in their food, which seems to consist mainly of chilled meat.’
- ‘Emma, a clever, pretty, and self-satisfied young woman, is the daughter, and mistress of the house, of Mr Woodhouse, an amiable old valetudinarian.’
- ‘Dietetic recommendations aimed at the cultivation of mind were replaced around the middle of the century by characterisations of polite urban eaters as valetudinarians and the creation of a market for health advice and products.’
- ‘The wonder is that valetudinarians have not more frequently availed themselves of the advantages it offers, instead of having recourse to watering-places.’
- 1.1 A person suffering from poor health.
sick person, case, sufferer, victimView synonyms
- ‘A trickle of visitors soon turned to a flood and the Silesian peasant was, by the beginning of the 1840s, personally ministering to hundreds of valetudinarians a year.’
- ‘Here are always to be seen a great number of valetudinarians from the West Indies, seeking for the renovation of health, exhausted by the debilitating nature of their sun, air, and modes of living.’
- ‘The group highly recommended with the vaccination include citizens above 60 years old, people with chronic diseases, valetudinarians, medical workers, primary school students and kindergartners.’
- ‘In the western part of the parish is a valley encircled with hills, celebrated for goats’ milk, which is in much request by valetudinarians, who resort hither during the summer months.’
- ‘The number of valetudinarians continued to decrease and the Spa House became in time the headquarters of the roistering Rakes of Mallow.’
1Showing undue concern about one's health.
hypochondriac, self-obsessed, neurotic, obsessed with one's healthView synonyms
- ‘In their fascinating and eloquent valetudinarian correspondence, Adams and Jefferson had a great deal to say about religion.’
- 1.1 Suffering from poor health.
unwell, sick, not well, not very well, ailing, poorly, sickly, peaky, afflicted, indisposed, infirm, liverishView synonyms
- ‘Diseases cannot be cured by mummifying the valetudinarian victim's mortal vessel in bandages.’
Early 18th century: from Latin valetudinarius ‘in ill health’ (from valetudo ‘health’, from valere ‘be well’) + -an.
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