deadly, fatal, incurable, terminal
catastrophic (AmE, law), critical, dangerous, debilitating, devastating, life-threatening, major, serious, severe, terrible

He suffered from a debilitating illness which made everyday life a struggle.

mild, minor

Clinical depression is a treatable illness.


TB is a major cause of preventable illness and death.

lengthy, lingering, long, long-standing, long-term, prolonged
degenerative, progressive
brief, short
final, last
acute, chronic

Kerry died of a sudden illness.

family, genetic

We assess the applicant's history of family illness.

mysterious, mystery, unexplained

They had failed to find the cause of his mystery illness.


Diabetes is a common illness.


He became blind after contracting a rare illness.

depressive, mental, psychiatric, psychological, psychotic, stress-related

Depression is a treatable medical illness.

AIDS-related, flu-like, food-borne (esp. AmE), physical, respiratory, smoking-related, viral
bout, episode

an acute episode of mental illness

experience, have, suffer, suffer from

those who experience mental illness

Badly fed children suffer a lot of minor illnesses.

people who suffer from mental illness

catch, contract, develop, get

people who never seem to catch the illnesses their friends get

He contracted a serious illness and died a month later.


The drug is used to treat a wide range of illnesses.

cure, heal (esp. AmE)

The only thing that could cure her illness was a special herb.

control, manage

ways to help arthritis sufferers manage their illness


She survived a life-threatening illness.


Claire is optimistic she can beat her illness.


illnesses caused by poverty


a drug that may be helpful in preventing illnesses such as cancer

battle, combat
fight, fight off, overcome, recover from

The immune system enables the body to fight off illness.

fake, feign

She feigned illness so that she wouldn't have to go to school.

nurse sb through

She nursed her father through his final illness.


She bore her final illness with great courage.

affect sb, afflict (formal)

The mystery illness affected hundreds of people.

Mental illness afflicts one in four people.

plague sb

Her childhood was plagued by illness.

hit (sb), strike (sb)

Suddenly, illness hit the household.

The illness struck while he was touring.

arise, occur

Some illnesses occur more frequently following puberty.

cause sth

the pain and distress caused by your illness


As his illness progressed, Neil began to have difficulty speaking.

result (from sth)

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether illnesses result from bacteria or viruses.

require sth

Both illnesses require treatment.

after illness

He's just returned to work after illness.

because of illness, due to illness, through illness

earnings lost through illness

with illness

people with serious psychological illnesses

illness among

a high rate of illness among the workers

illness associated with

the illnesses associated with HIV infection

illness from

the first case of illness from the Ebola virus

illness in

episodes of illness in children

the onset of an illness

the sudden onset of illness in a parent

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

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