- an intermittent and remittent fever caused by a protozoan parasite that invades the red blood cells. The parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes in many tropical and subtropical regions.
- The parasite belongs to the genus Plasmodium (phylum Sporozoa) and is transmitted by female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles
mid 18th century: from Italian, from mal'aria, contracted form of mala aria 'bad air'. The term originally denoted the unwholesome atmosphere caused by the exhalations of marshes, to which the disease was formerly attributed