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Deceased vs. Diseased

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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English has a lot of confusing words in it. Some words are spelled the same with different meanings, some words are spelled differently but pronounced the same, and some words are spelled differently and pronounced differently, but they look and sound close enough that they still give us some trouble. The trouble between deceased vs. diseased falls into this last camp. Both words are spelled differently and have slightly different pronunciations, but they are easy to confuse. Today, I want to go over the definitions of these two words, their pronunciations, and give you a few tips to remember the differences between them.


The word deceased originated from Middle English: from Old French deces, from Latin decessus ‘death’, past participle (used as a noun) of decedere ‘to die’.

Deceased as verb:

The word deceased is used as a verb in English language where it means to die.

He deceased at his palace of Croydon.

Deceased as noun:

The word deceased is also used as a noun which refers to the recently dead person in question.

The judge inferred that the deceased was confused as to the extent of his assets.

Deceased as adjective:

Deceased is also used as an adjective which refers to someone who is recently dead.

The deceased man's family.

Diseased as adjective:

Deceased vs. Diseased

The word diseased is used in English language as an adjective and it refers to someone who is suffering from disease.

The diseased trees are close to falling down.

Someone’s abnormal or corrupt behavior is also described as diseased.

I cannot bear your diseased view of mankind.


One should not speak ill of the deceased (noun).

A proper burial for the deceased person is expected (adjective).

The diseased population was quarantined to avoid further outbreak.

These people are diseased, so we must be cautious.

Deceased or diseased:

It’s important to keep these two words straight because they have very different meanings and mixing them up will make your writing to look sloppy. So in order to keep our writing precise, let’s go over them one last time. Deceased can be a noun and adjective and refers to dead people. Diseased can only be an adjective and refers to people who are infected with disease. There’s actually a pretty easy way to remember the difference between these two words. Diseased means that you are infected with disease or, in other words, you are sick. Diseased has two “s’s,” so you know that diseased means you are sick. And while this may be a bit morbid, there is a way you can remember deceased as well. Deceased means a dead person and it has a “c” in it. If you can remember that the “c” stands for corpse, you have an easy memory tool to keep track of both words.

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