Illnesses Vocabulary

A collection of illustrations of all of the different illnesses featured on this page.

This illnesses vocabulary list includes common aches and pains we feel in our bodies. Another word for illness is sickness.

Listen to the video to hear the correct pronunciation—in American English—and practice saying the words out loud during the pauses after each word. 

Hear the vocabulary pronounced

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Illnesses vocabulary in pictures

Cartoon man with bright red cheek showing pain in mouth (toothache)

toothache:  a pain in the tooth.

Cartoon woman holding hair back wincing in pain

backache:  pain in the back.

Cartoon woman holding her hand up to her head and grimacing in pain

headache:  pain in the head.

Cartoon woman holding her shoulder and closing her eyes because of pain

sore shoulder:  pain in the shoulder muscle.

A cartoon woman holding her very red nose and grimacing in pain

sinus pressure:  when the sinuses are swollen. It is common to have a headache with the sinuses are swollen.

We often saw we have a "stuffed up nose" or a "stuffy nose" to describe how difficult it is to breathe when our sinuses are swollen

A sick cartoon woman in bed with a water bottle on her head and a thermometer in her mouth.

have a fever / have a temperature:  to have a higher than normal body temperature.

A cartoon man blowing his nose with pollen particles in the air all around him.

seasonal allergies:  an allergic reaction to pollen in the air. Symptoms include watery or itchy eyes and nose, coughing, sneezing.

Read more about allergies here.

A cartoon woman with her eyes closed; she's off balance and is seeing stars because she's dizzy

dizziness / feeling dizzy:  a feeling that everything is turning around and that you might fall down or feel nauseous.

A cartoon man clutching his chest with his hand because of pain

heartburn:  a painful feeling in the chest when the body is having difficulty digesting food.

A cartoon man touching his stomach and grimacing in pain

stomachache / upset stomach (nauseous):  pain in the stomach / feeling like you might vomit (throw up).

A cartoon man sitting on the toilet and squinting in pain because he has diarrhea

diarrhea:  an illness where your body very frequently passes waste in more of a liquid than solid form.


A cartoon man wearing casts on his head, arm and foot and wearing crutches.

broken bones:  bones that have been fractured or broken and are usually set in a cast to keep the bone in place while it heals.

An illustration of legs with a bright red bruise on one of the legs.

bruise:  a dark area and painful area on the skin where the body has been hurt.

Your turn to practice

This is not a complete list of illnesses vocabulary but perhaps you have experienced some of these common aches and pains.

Which has been your most recent illness? What were the symptoms? Are you generally in good health? Have you ever had a serious illness?

A great way to practice is to write down answers to these questions on paper or to simply answer them out loud (speaking to yourself or to a practice partner).

Another great way to practice is to do puzzles. And, as noted above, you can practice by doing fun vocabulary puzzles by downloading the free puzzles ebook.


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