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Alternative forms[edit]


From Old French discrasie, from Medieval Latin dyscrāsia, from Ancient Greek δυσκρασία (duskrasía, bad temperament), from δυσ- (dus-, dys-) + κρᾶσις (krâsis, mixing”, “tempering).[1]



dyscrasy (countable and uncountable, plural dyscrasies)

  1. (countable, literally) A bodily disorder; an imbalance of the humours; distemper; morbid diathesis.[1]
  2. (uncountable, figuratively) Disharmony; discord; disorder; dissonance.[1]


  • 1829: John Mason Good, The study of medicine, page 413
    But such a practice must not be attempted indiscriminately, and should indeed be used with great caution : for it has fallen to the author’s lot to know of not a few instances, in which the constitution has been so completely broken down by the very onset of this energetic plan, as to require, not two or three weeks, but many months, before the patient was re-enabled to take his station in society; to say nothing of the virulence which has been added to all the symptoms of the case, whether primary or secondary, in dyscrasies or idiosyncrasies which are hostile to the use of mercury.
  • 1885: Homer Irvin Ostrom, A Treatise on the Breast, and Its Surgical Diseases, page 92 (2nd Ed.; A.L. Chatterton & Co.)
    Have we not here the source from which dyscrasies spring?

Related terms[edit]



dyscrasy (third-person singular simple present *dyscrasies, present participle *dyscrasying, simple past and past participle dyscrasied or (rare) dyscrasyed)

  1. (obsolete, rare)[1] Dyscrase.[1]
    • 1594: Dean Sutcliffe of Exeter, An Answere unto a certaine calumnious letter, “To the Reader”, page viii; quoted in:
    • 1906: Henry Martyn Dexter and Morton Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, book ii: The Protestantism of our Fathers, Chap. V — “More Battles of the Books”, §: Details of new eccles. govt., page 153 (2004 republication; Kessinger Publishing; ISBN 1417946784, 9781417946785)
      A discourse in the opinion of wise men very preiudiciall both to her Maiesties authoritie and Lawes, and also to the peace of Gods church, and propagation of the Gospell, and certes very offensiue for diffaming of diuers honest men and loyall Subiects, and that before the Princes presence, which was not therein respected; and, to cease to speake much of a discourse so little worth, very vnsufficient and euilfeatured, beeing stuffed with many weake and false allegations, and much frivolous and idle talke as it were of a dyscrasied braine.
    • 1669: Everard Maynwaring, Vita sana et longa, the preservation of health and prolongation of life, page 40
      [] a discrasyed body []
    • 1883: Edwin Samuel Gaillard (editor) and William S. McChesney (editor), Gaillard’s Medical Journal, volume 36, page 247
      These bodies are constant in malarial fevers of serious import. When this dyscrasied condition of the blood has existed for any considerable length of time, the result most generally is a chill, by which the vital action is lowered, and the action of the heart increased, but correspondingly diminshed in force.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 dyscrasy, n.” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)