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diabetes Syllabification: di·a·be·tes
Pronunciation: /ˌdīəˈbēdēz/
(also diabetes mellitusməˈlītəsˈmeli-)

Definition of diabetes in English:


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 and urine.

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

Example sentences
  • Members suffer from illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.
  • 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.


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

Definition of diabetes in:
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