German Medical and Dental Vocabulary

Back of paramedic rushing at hall
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When you are traveling through or living in a German-speaking area, it is wise to know how to talk about medical problems in German. To help you out, explore and study some of the most common German words and phrases related to health care.

In this glossary, you will find words for medical treatments, ailments, diseases, and injuries. There is even a glossary of dental vocabulary in case you find yourself in need of a dentist and need to talk about your treatment in German.

The German Medical Glossary

Below you will find many of the German words you will need when speaking with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. It includes many common medical conditions and ailments and should cover the majority of your basic needs when seeking healthcare in a German-speaking country. Use it as a quick reference or study it ahead of time so you're prepared when you need to seek help.

To use the glossary, you'll find it helpful to know what a few common abbreviations mean:

  • Noun Genders: r (der, masc.), e (die, fem.), s (das, neu.)
  • Abbreviations: adj. (adjective), adv. (adverb), Br. (British), n. (noun), v. (verb), pl. (plural)  

Also, you'll find a few annotations throughout the glossary. Quite often these point out a relationship to German doctors and researchers who discovered a medical condition or treatment option. 


English Deutsch
abscess r Abszess
e Akne
Pickel (pl.)
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) ADS (Aufmerksamkeits-Defizit-Störung)
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) ADHS (Aufmerksamkeits-Defizit und Hyperaktivitäts-Störung)
become addicted/an addict
drug addict
r/e Süchtige
süchtig werden
r/e Drogensüchtige
addiction e Sucht
AIDS victim
e/r AIDS-Kranke(r)
allergic (to) allergisch (gegen)
allergy e Allergie
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) e ALS (e Amyotrophe Lateralsklerose, Amyotrophische Lateralsklerose)
Lou Gehrig's disease s Lou-Gehrig-Syndrom
Alzheimer's (disease) e Alzheimer Krankheit
anesthesia/anesthesia e Betäubung/e Narkose
general anesthetic
local anesthetic
s Betäubungsmittel/s Narkosemittel
e Vollnarkose
örtliche Betäubung
anthrax r Milzbrand, r Anthrax
antidote (to) s Gegengift, s Gegenmittel (gegen)
appendicitis e Blinddarmentzündung
arteriosclerosis e Arteriosklerose, e Arterienverkalkung
arthritis e Arthritis, e Gelenkentzündung
aspirin s Aspirin
asthma s Asthma
asthmatic asthmatisch


bacterium (bacteria) e Bakterie (-n), s Bakterium (Bakteria)
bandage s Pflaster (-)
Band-Aid ®
r Verband (Verbände)
s Hansaplast ®
benign benigne (med.), gutartig
benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, enlarging prostate) BPH, Benigne Prostatahyperplasie
blood count
blood poisoning
blood pressure
high blood pressure
blood sugar
blood test
blood type/group
blood transfusion
s Blut
s Blutbild
e Blutvergiftung
r Blutdruck
r Bluthochdruck
r Blutzucker
e Blutprobe
e Blutgruppe
e Bluttransfusion
bloody blutig
botulism r Botulismus
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) die Bovine Spongiforme Enzephalopathie, die BSE
breast cancer r Brustkrebs
BSE, “mad cow” disease
the BSE crisis
e BSE, r Rinderwahn
e BSE-Krise


Caesarean, C section
She had a (baby by) Caesarean.
r Kaiserschnitt
Sie hatte einen Kaiserschnitt.
cancer r Krebs
cancerous adj. bösartig, krebsartig
carcinogen n. r Krebserreger, s Karzinogen
carcinogenic adj. krebsauslösend, krebserregend, krebserzeugend
cardiac Herz- (prefix)
cardiac arrest r Herzstillstand
cardiac disease e Herzkrankheit
cardiac infarction r Herzinfarkt
cardiologist r Kardiologe, e Kardiologin
cardiology e Kardiologie
cardiopulmonary Herz-Lungen- (prefix)
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) e Herz-Lungen-Wiederbelebung (HLW)
carpal tunnel syndrome s Karpaltunnelsyndrom
CAT scan, CT scan e Computertomografie
cataract r Katarakt, grauer Star
catheter r Katheter
catheterize (v.) katheterisieren
chemist, pharmacist r Apotheker (-), e Apothekerin (-innen)
chemist's shop, pharmacy e Apotheke (-n)
chemotherapy e Chemotherapie
chicken pox Windpocken (pl.)
chills r Schüttelfrost
chlamydia e Chlamydieninfektion, e Chlamydien-Infektion
cholera e Cholera
chronic (adj.)
a chronic disease
eine chronische Krankheit
circulatory problem e Kreislaufstörung
CJD (Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease) e CJK (die Creuzfeldt-Jakob-Krankheit)
clinic e Klinik (-en)
clone n.
clone v.
r Klon
s Klonen
(a) cold, head cold
to have a cold
eine Erkältung, r Schnupfen
einen Schnupfen haben
colon cancer r Darmkrebs
colonoscopy e Darmspiegelung, e Koloskopie
concussion e Gehirnerschütterung
congenital (adj.) angeboren, kongenital
congenital defect r Geburtsfehler
congenital disease e kongenitale Krankheit (-en)
conjunctivitis e Bindehautentzündung
constipation e Verstopfung
s Contagium
e Ansteckung
e Ansteckungskrankheit
contagious (adj.) ansteckend, direkt übertragbar
convulsion(s) r Krampf (Krämpfe)
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) COPD (Chronisch obstruktive Lungenerkrankung)
cough r Husten
cough syrup r Hustensaft
CPR (see "cardiopulmonary resuscitation") e HLW
stomach cramp
r Krampf (Krämpfe)
r Magenkrampf
cure (for a disease) s Heilmittel (gegen eine Krankheit)
cure (back to health) e Heilung
cure (at spa)
take a cure
e Kur
eine Kur machen
cure (treatment for) e Behandlung (für)
cure (of) (v.)
cure s.o. of a disease
heilen (von)
jmdn. von einer Krankheit heilen
cure-all s Allheilmittel
cut n. e Schnittwunde (-n)


dandruff, flaking skin Schuppen (pl.)
dead tot
death r Tod
dental, by a dentist (see dental glossary below) zahnärztlich
dentist r Zahnarzt/e Zahnärztin
diabetes e Zuckerkrankheit, r Diabetes
diabetic n. r/e Zuckerkranke, r Diabetiker/e Diabetikerin
diabetic adj. zuckerkrank, diabetisch
diagnosis e Diagnose
dialysis e Dialyse
diarrhea, diarrhoea r Durchfall, e Diarrhöe
die v.
he died of cancer
she died of heart failure
many people died/lost their lives
sterben, ums Leben kommen
er starb an Krebs
sie ist an Herzversagen gestorben
viele Menschen kamen ums Leben
disease, illness
contagious disease
e Krankheit (-en)
ansteckende Krankheit
doctor, physician r Arzt/e Ärztin (Ärzte/Ärztinnen)


ENT (ear, nose, and throat) HNO (Hals, Nase, Ohren)
pronounced HAH-EN-OH
ENT doctor/physician r HNO-Arzt, e HNO-Ärztin
in an emergency
r Notfall
im Notfall
emergency room/ward e Unfallstation
emergency services Hilfsdienste (pl.)
environment e Umwelt


fever s Fieber
first aid
administer/give first aid
erste Hilfe
erste Hilfe leisten
first-aid kit e Erste-Hilfe-Ausrüstung
first-aid kit r Verbandkasten/r Verbandskasten
flu, influenza e Grippe


gall bladder e Galle, e Gallenblase
gall stone(s) r Gallenstein (-e)
gastrointestinal Magen-Darm- (in compounds)
gastrointestinal tract r Magen-Darm-Trakt
gastroscopy e Magenspiegelung
German measles Röteln (pl.)
glucose r Traubenzucker, e Glucose
glycerin(e) s Glyzerin
gonorrhea e Gonorrhöe, r Tripper


hematoma (Br.) s Hämatom
haemorrhoid (Br.) e Hämorrhoide
hay fever r Heuschnupfen
headache tablet/pill, aspirin
I have a headache.
Kopfschmerzen (pl.)
e Kopfschmerztablette
Ich habe Kopfschmerzen.
head nurse, senior nurse e Oberschwester
heart attack r Herzanfall, r Herzinfarkt
heart failure s Herzversagen
heart pacemaker r Herzschrittmacher
heartburn s Sodbrennen
health e Gesundheit
health care e Gesundheitsfürsorge
hematoma, haematoma (Br.) s Hämatom
hemorrhage e Blutung
hemorrhoidal ointment
e Hämorrhoide
e Hämorrhoidensalbe
hepatitis e Leberentzündung, e Hepatitis
high blood pressure r Bluthochdruck (med. arterielle Hypertonie)
Hippocratic Oath r hippokratische Eid, r Eid des Hippokrates
HIV positive/negative
hospital s Krankenhaus, e Klinik, s Spital (Austria)


ICU (intensive care unit) e Intensivstation
illness, disease e Krankheit (-en)
incubator r Brutkasten (-kästen)
infection e Entzündung (-en), e Infektion (-en)
influenza, flu e Grippe
injection, shot e Spritze (-n)
innoculate, vaccinate (v.) impfen
insulin s Insulin
insulin shock r Insulinschock
interaction (drugs) e Wechselwirkung (-en), e Interaktion (-en)


jaundice e Gelbsucht
Jakob-Creutzfeld disease e Jakob-Creutzfeld-Krankheit


kidney(s) e Niere (-en)
kidney failure, renal failure s Nierenversagen
kidney machine e künstliche Niere
kidney stone(s) r Nierenstein (-e)


laxative s Abführmittel
leukemia r Blutkrebs, e Leukämie
life s Leben
to lose your life, to die ums Leben kommen
many people died/lost their lives viele Menschen kamen ums Leben
Lou Gehrig's disease s Lou-Gehrig-Syndrom (see "ALS")
Lyme disease
transmitted by ticks
e Lyme-Borreliose (also see TBE)
von Zecken übertragen


"mad cow" disease, BSE r Rinderwahn, e BSE
malaria e Malaria
German measles, rubella
e Masern (pl.)
Röteln (pl.)
medical(ly) (adj., adv.) medizinisch, ärztlich, Sanitäts- (in compounds)
medical corps (mil.) e Sanitätstruppe
medical insurance e Krankenversicherung/e Krankenkasse
medical school medizinische Fakultät
medical student r Medizinstudent/-studentin
medicinal (adj., adv.) heilend, medizinisch
medicinal power(s) e Heilkraft
medicine (in general) e Medizin
medicine, medication e Arznei, s Arzneimittel, s Medikament (-e)
metabolism r Metabolismus
mono, mononucleosis s Drüsenfieber, e Mononukleose (Pfeiffersches Drüsenfieber)
multiple sclerosis (MS) multiple Sklerose (die)
mumps r Mumps
muscular dystrophy e Muskeldystrophie, r Muskelschwund


head nurse
male nurse, orderly
e Krankenschwester (-n)
e Oberschwester (-n)
r Krankenpfleger (-)
nursing e Krankenpflege


ointment, salve e Salbe (-n)
operate (v.) operieren
operation e Operation (-en)
have an operation sich einer Operation unterziehen, operiert werden
organ s Organ
organ bank e Organbank
organ donation e Organspende
organ donor r Organspender, e Organspenderin
organ recipient r Organempfänger, e Organempfängerin


pacemaker r Herzschrittmacher
paralysis (n.) e Lähmung, e Paralyse
paralytic (n.) r Paralytiker, e Paralytikerin
paralyzed, paralytic (adj.) gelähmt, paralysiert
parasite r Parasit (-en)
Parkinson's disease e Parkinson-Krankheit
patient r Patient (-en), e Patientin (-nen)
pharmacy, chemist's shop e Apotheke (-n)
pharmacist, chemist r Apotheker (-), e Apothekerin (-nen)
physician, doctor r Arzt/e Ärztin (Ärzte/Ärztinnen)
pill, tablet e Pille (-n), e Tablette (-n)
r Pickel (-)
e Akne
plague e Pest
pneumonia e Lungenentzündung
poison (n.)
antidote (to)
s Gift/
s Gegengift, s Gegenmittel (gegen)
poison (v.) vergiften
poisoning e Vergiftung
prescription s Rezept
prostate (gland) e Prostata
prostate cancer r Prostatakrebs
psoriasis e Schuppenflechte


quack (doctor) r Quacksalber
quack remedy s Mittelchen, e Quacksalberkur/e Quacksalberpille
quinine s Chinin


rabies e Tollwut
rash (n.) r Ausschlag
rehab e Reha, e Rehabilitierung
rehab center s Reha-Zentrum (-Zentren)
rheumatism s Rheuma
rubella Röteln (pl.)


salivary gland e Speicheldrüse (-n)
salve, ointment e Salbe (-n)
SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) s SARS (Schweres akutes Atemnotsyndrom)
scurvy r Skorbut
sedative, tranquilizer s Beruhigungsmittel
shot, injection e Spritze (-n)
side effects Nebenwirkungen (pl.)
smallpox e Pocken (pl.)
smallpox vaccination e Pockenimpfung
sonography e Sonografie
sonogram s Sonogramm (-e)
sprain e Verstauchung
STD (sexually transmitted disease) e Geschlechtskrankheit (-en)
stomach r Magen
stomach ache s Bauchweh, Magenbeschwerden (pl.)
stomach cancer r Magenkrebs
stomach ulcer s Magengeschwür
surgeon r Chirurg (-en), e Chirurgin (-innen)
syphilis e Syphilis


tablet, pill e Tablette (-n), e Pille (-n)
TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) Frühsommer-Meningoenzephalitis (FSME)
he has a temperature
e Temperatur (-en)
er hat Fieber
thermal imaging e Thermografie
thermometer s Thermometer (-)
tissue (skin, etc.) s Gewebe (-)
CAT/CT scan, computer tomography
e Tomografie
e Computertomografie
tonsilitis e Mandelentzündung
tranquilizer, sedative s Beruhigungsmittel
triglyceride s Triglyzerid (Triglyzeride, pl.)
tuberculosis e Tuberkulose
tuberculin s Tuberkulin
typhoid fever, typhus r Typhus


ulcer s Geschwür
ulcerous (adj.) geschwürig
urologist r Urologe, e Urologin
urology e Urologie


vaccinate (v.) impfen
vaccination (n.)
smallpox vaccination
e Impfung (-en)
e Pockenimpfung
vaccine (n.) r Impfstoff
varicose vein e Krampfader
vasectomy e Vasektomie
vascular vaskulär, Gefäß- (in compounds)
vascular disease e Gefäßkrankheit
vein e Vene (-n), e Ader (-n)
venereal disease, VD e Geschlechtskrankheit (-en)
virus s Virus
virus/viral infection e Virusinfektion
vitamin s Vitamin
vitamin deficiency r Vitaminmangel


wart e Warze (-n)
wound (n.) e Wunde (-n)


X-ray (n.) e Röntgenaufnahme, s Röntgenbild
X-ray (v.) durchleuchten, eine Röntgenaufnahme machen


yellow fever - s Gelbfieber

German Dental Vocabulary 

When you have a dental emergency, it can be difficult to discuss your issue when you don't know the language. If you're in a German-speaking country, you will find it very useful to rely on this small glossary to help you explain to the dentist what is bothering you. It's also useful as he explains your treatment options.

Be ready to expand you "Z" vocabulary in German. The word "tooth" is der Zahn in German, so you will use it often in the dentist office.

As a reminder, here is the glossary's key to help you understand some of the abbreviations.

  • Noun Genders: r (der, masc.), e (die, fem.), s (das, neu.)
  • Abbreviations: adj. (adjective), adv. (adverb), Br. (British), n. (noun), v. (verb), pl. (plural)  
English Deutsch
amalgam (dental filling) s Amalgam
anaesthesia/anesthesia e Betäubung/e Narkose
general anesthetic
local anesthetic
s Betäubungsmittel/s Narkosemittel
e Vollnarkose
örtliche Betäubung
(to) bleach, whiten (v.) bleichen
brace(s) e Klammer (-n), e Spange (-n), e Zahnspange (-n), e Zahnklammer (-n)
crown, cap (tooth)
tooth crown
e Krone
e Zahnkrone

dentist (m.)

r Zahnarzt (-ärzte) (m.), e Zahnärztin (-ärztinnen) (f.)
dental assistant, dental nurse r Zahnarzthelfer (-, m.), e Zahnarzthelferin (-nen) (f.)
dental (adj.) zahnärztlich
dental floss e Zahnseide
dental hygiene, dental care e Zahnpflege
dental technician r Zahntechniker
denture set
false teeth
r Zahnersatz
e Zahnprothese
falsche Zähne, künstliche Zähne
(to) drill (v.)
r Bohrer (-), e Bohrmaschine (-n)
sum total of fees (on dental bill)
service provided
itemization of services
s Honorar (-e)
Summe Honorare
e Leistung
e Leistungsgliederung
(tooth) filling(s)
to fill (tooth)
e Füllung (-en), e Zahnfüllung (-)
e Plombe (-n)
fluoridation, fluoride treatment e Fluoridierung
gum, gums s Zahnfleisch
gingivitis, gum infection e Zahnfleischentzündung
periodontology (gum treatment/care) e Parodontologie
periodontosis (shrinking gums) e Parodontose
plaque, tartar, calculus
plaque, tartar, calculus
tartar, calculus (hard coating)
plaque (soft coating)
r Belag (Beläge)
r Zahnbelag
harter Zahnbelag
weicher Zahnbelag
prophylaxis (teeth cleaning) e Prophylaxe
removal (of plaque, tooth, etc.) e Entfernung
root r Wurzel
root-canal work e Wurzelkanalbehandlung, e Zahnwurzelbehandlung
sensitive (gums, teeth, etc.) (adj.) empfindlich
tooth (teeth)
tooth surface(s)
r Zahn (Zähne)
e Zahnfläche (-n)
toothache r Zahnweh, e Zahnschmerzen (pl.)
tooth enamel r Zahnschmelz
treatment(s) e Behandlung (-en)

Disclaimer: This glossary is not intended to offer any medical or dental advice. It is for general information and vocabulary reference only.

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Flippo, Hyde. "German Medical and Dental Vocabulary." ThoughtCo, Jul. 31, 2021, Flippo, Hyde. (2021, July 31). German Medical and Dental Vocabulary. Retrieved from Flippo, Hyde. "German Medical and Dental Vocabulary." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 23, 2023).