Vocabulary – Medical Adjectives

Read the following adjective once and the complete the Quiz.


  1. Acute – An acute illness is one that becomes very bad very quickly
  2. Asymptomatic – If a disease or person is asymptomatic, they show no physical signs of a medical problem
  3. Autistic – Affected by the developmental condition autism
  4. Autoimmune – Relating to conditions and diseases in which normal cells are attacked by someone’s immune system (=parts of the body that fight disease)
  5. Bariatric – Relating to the causes and treatment of obesity
  6. Benign – A benign lump in your body or a benign disease is not cancer and will not kill you
  7. Catching – An illness, mood, or idea that is catching spreads quickly to other people
  8. Chronic  – A chronic illness or chronic pain is serious and lasts for a long time. A serious illness or pain that lasts only for a short time is described as acute
  9. Clinical – Relating to an illness
  10. Communicable – A communicable disease can be passed from one person or animal to another


  1. Congenital – a congenital medical condition is one that a person has had since they were born
  2. Contagious – A contagious disease spreads from one person to another through touch or through the air
  3. Crippling – Causing someone to be physically disabled, especially unable to walk
  4. Curable – Possible to cure
  5. Degenerative – A degenerative disease is one that gradually gets worse
  6. Depressive – Relating to depression, or suffering from depression
  7. Disabling – If a condition or injury is disabling, it affects your body or your brain and makes you unable to use it properly
  8. Epidemic – Happening a lot and affecting many people
  9. Febrile – Relating to a fever
  10. First-degree – A first-degree burn is the least serious type


  1. Focal – A focal disease or infection is limited to one part of the body
  2. Fulminant – A fulminant disease appears very suddenly
  3. Fungal – Caused by a fungus
  4. Generalized – affecting most of the body rather than just one area
  5. Inactive – An inactive disease or other threat is present but not doing anything at this time
  6. Incurable – Not able to be cured
  7. Infantile – Affecting young children
  8. Infectious – An infectious disease is one that can spread from one person to another
  9. Inflammatory – Causing inflammation in a part of your body
  10. Inoperable – An inoperable medical condition cannot be cured or treated by an operation.


  1. Invasive – An invasive disease spreads within the body and is difficult to treat.
  2. Life-threatening – Likely to cause someone to die
  3. Local – Affecting only a small area of your body
  4. Low-grade – A low-grade medical condition is not very serious
  5. Malignant – a malignant tumour consists of cancer cells that can spread in the body
  6. Mild – A mild illness or injury is one that is not serious
  7. Morbid – Relating to or caused by disease
  8. Mortal – Serious enough to cause death
  9. Multiple – Affecting several parts of your body
  10. Nervous – A nervous illness or medical condition is caused by worry, or by working too hard, so that you feel excited when you want to relax


  1. Neurodegenerative – Relating to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease that cause someone’s nerves to be damaged
  2. Niggling – A niggling injury is not very serious but is difficult to treat or cure
  3. Non-invasive – A non-invasive illness does not spread to other parts of your body
  4. Non-specific – Not relating to or not caused by one particular thing
  5. Non-specific – A non-specific illness or medical condition may have more than one cause
  6. Notifiable – If a disease is notifiable, new cases of it must be reported to a public health authority
  7. Operable – An operable disease can be cured by a medical operation.
  8. Opportunistic – An opportunistic disease or infection is one that attacks people who are already ill and who have a very weak immune system.
  9. Parasitic – A parasitic disease is caused by parasites living inside your body
  10. Pathological – caused by disease.


  1. Perforated – Used about an organ or tube inside your body that has a small hole or cut in its surface
  2. Primary – In the first stage of development
  3. Psychosomatic – A psychosomatic illness is caused by a problem in your mind
  4. Quiescent – A quiescent disease or illness is not getting worse
  5. Refractory – A refractory illness does not improve despite medical treatment
  6. Rheumatic – Relating to or affected by rheumatism
  7. Second-degree – a second-degree burn is more serious than a first-degree burn but not as serious as a third-degree burn
  8. Self-induced – A self-induced medical condition is one that you cause yourself
  9. Self-inflicted – A self-inflicted injury, condition etc is one that you cause yourself
  10. Severe – A severe pain, injury, or illness is serious and unpleasant.


  1. Sporadic – A sporadic disease appears in separate areas of a country or region with no clear connection between the cases
  2. Strangulated – A strangulated part of your body does not have enough blood flowing to it
  3. Stubborn – Difficult to cure or remove
  4. Suspected – a suspected injury is one that doctors think you have, but they are not sure yet
  5. Systemic – Affecting your whole body
  6. Terminal – A terminal illness cannot be cured and will cause someone to die, usually slowly
  7. Third-degree – A third-degree burn is the most serious type
  8. Traumatic – A traumatic injury causes serious damage to the body
  9. Treatable – A treatable illness or medical condition can be cured by medical treatment
  10. Tubercular – Relating to or affected by tuberculosis.


  1. Unresponsive – An unresponsive illness does not improve when doctors treat it
  2. Untreated – Receiving no medical treatment
  3. Viral – Caused by or relating to a virus
  4. Virulent – A virulent illness is very dangerous, and affects people very quickly
  5. Wasting – A wasting disease makes you thin, weak, and tired
  6. Waterborne – A waterborne disease is spread through water
  7. Zoonotic – A zoonotic disease is one that can be passed between species, especially from animals to humans.

After you have learnt these words, go to the Vocabulary Course to check your progress:

Written by Biju John

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