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See also: agüe and agüé



From Middle English agu, ague, borrowed from Middle French (fievre) aguë, “acute (fever)” (Modern French fièvre aiguë), from Late Latin (febris) acuta (acute fever), from Latin acūtus (sharp, acute) + febris (fever).

Doublet of acute.


  • enPR: āʹgyo͞o, IPA(key): /ˈeɪ.ɡju/
  • (file)


ague (countable and uncountable, plural agues)

  1. (obsolete) An acute fever.
  2. (pathology) An intermittent fever, attended by alternate cold and hot fits.
    • a. 1969, John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces, Penguin, published 1981, →ISBN, page 163:
      He had to capture some character and get out of that rest room before his ague got so bad that the sergeant had to carry him to and from the booth every day.
    • 1860 December – 1861 August, Charles Dickens, chapter III, in Great Expectations [], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), London: Chapman and Hall, [], published October 1861, OCLC 3359935:
      He shivered all the while so violently, that it was quite as much as he could do to keep the neck of the bottle between his teeth, without biting it off.
      "I think you have got the ague," said I.
      "I'm much of your opinion, boy," said he.
      "It's bad about here," I told him. "You've been lying out on the meshes, and they're dreadful aguish. Rheumatic too."
    • 1852: Susanna Moodie, "Roughing it in the Bush: or, Forest Life in Canada"
      'Ague and lake fever had attacked our new settlement. The men in the shanty were all down with it, and my husband was confined to his bed on each alternate day, unable to raise hand or foot, and raving in the delirium of the fever.'
    • 1810: Lord Byron, "Written after Swimming from Sestos to Abydos"
      'Twere hard to say who fared the best:
      Sad mortals! thus the Gods still plague you!
      He lost his labour, I my jest:
      For he was drowned, and I've the ague
  3. The cold fit or rigor of the intermittent fever
    fever and ague
  4. A chill, or state of shaking, as with cold.
    • November 23, 1698, John Dryden, letter to Mrs Stewart
      I 'scap'd with one cold fit of an ague
  5. (obsolete) Malaria.
    • 1979, Octavia Butler, Kindred:
      Where I'm from, people have learned that mosquitoes carry ague.

Usage notes[edit]

The pronunciation /ˈeɪɡ/ is a common pronunciation by people to whom this is a book word (a word one learns by reading and has never heard spoken). /ˈeɪ.ɡju/ is the standard pronunciation.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]


ague (third-person singular simple present agues, present participle aguing, simple past and past participle agued)

  1. (transitive) To strike with an ague, or with a cold fit.



Mbyá Guaraní[edit]



  1. feather
  2. fur

Possessed forms[edit]



From Middle English agu, ague, from Middle French (fievre) aguë (acute (fever)). Cognate with English ague.


  • IPA(key): /əˈɡ(j)u/, /eˈɡ(j)u/


ague (plural agues)

  1. ague (acute fever)


  • “ague” in Eagle, Andy, editor, The Online Scots Dictionary[1], 2016.