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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 ac?tus ("sharp, acute") + febris ("fever").

Doublet of acute.


  • enPR: gyo?o, IPA(key): /'e?.?ju/
  • (file)


ague (countable and uncountable, plural agues)

  1. (obsolete) An acute fever.
  2. (pathology) An intermittent fever, attended by alternate cold and hot fits.
    • 1969, John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces, page 200:
      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.
    • 1867: Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, 1867 Edition, chapter III.
      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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  5. (obsolete) Malaria.
    • 1979, Octavia Butler, Kindred:
      Where I'm from, people have learned that mosquitoes carry ague.

Usage notes

The pronunciation /'e/ is a common pronunciation by people to whom this is a book word (a word one learns by reading and has never heard spoken). /'e?.?ju/ is the standard pronunciation.

Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also


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.





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


  • IPA(key): /?'?(j)u/, /e'?(j)u/


ague (plural agues)

  1. ague (acute fever)


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

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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