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Deceased vs. Diseased

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2:14 min read
  Marius Alza  —  Grammar Tips
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The spellings of “deceased” and “diseased” are, of course, similar, but not that similar that they would tempt you to misspell or confuse them. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about their pronunciations, which are actually almost identical. As a result, “deceased” is often confused for “diseased” and you can easily doubt which one means what.

We’re going to clear these doubts in a minute, by offering you some quick, short and easy explanations about what each word means and how it is used correctly according to its context, so you won’t question “deceased” and “diseased” again.

Deceased vs. Diseased

Both words function as adjectives, and they have almost identical pronunciations, due to their quite similar spellings. In addition, both words refer to some kind of condition of a person or of people in general. Even so, “deceased” and “diseased” are far from meaning the same.

An important difference, besides their actual meanings, would be the way these words are used. “Deceased” is formal, it’s not that frequently used in daily conversations. You’d rather see “deceased” in formal, official communications, than in common, informal communications. The other one, “diseased”, is used a little more often and it is surely not formal.

When do we use “deceased”?

“Deceased” is, as already mentioned above, recommended to be used if you are having a formal conversation. The word, anyway, refers to a dead person, to someone who has died. So it should only be used when referring to someone who is no longer.
Example: The deceased man’s body was found yesterday by the police. – “deceased” is the formal synonym for “dead”.

When do we use “diseased”?

“Diseased” doesn’t need to be used only in formal or informal conversations. But it shouldn’t be, of course, confused for “deceased”, because it certainly doesn’t refer to somebody dead. “Diseased” is an adjective created from the noun “disease”, which means illness, caused by a failure of health or by an infection, not by an incident. Consequently, “diseased” is used to describe something or someone affected by a “disease”.

Example: The patient had a diseased lung. – “diseased” refers to something affected by a disease, by an infection.


These words refer to very different aspects despite their almost identical pronunciations and spellings, but remembering the difference between “deceased” and “diseased” is easier than you thought. Simply remark that “disease” is present in the word “diseased”, and this is a perfect hint that this word refers to something affected by a disease. The other is the one that refers to a dead person. And, if the trick doesn’t work, feel free to check this article whenever you need a confirmation or explanation for your doubts!

Deceased vs. Diseased

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