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etiology

play
noun, eti·ol·o·gy \ˌē-tē-ˈä-lə-jē\

Definition of etiology

plural etiologies

  1. 1 :  cause, origin; specifically :  the cause of a disease or abnormal condition

  2. 2 :  a branch of knowledge concerned with causes; specifically :  a branch of medical science concerned with the causes and origins of diseases



Examples of etiology in a sentence

  1. The scarf had been purchased in one of those tiny, exquisitely organized stores that can seduce you into thinking it matters less what you wear than how you accessorize what you wear, and the scarf came in just the noncolor colors that I like: mustard and khaki and taupe, shades of dun, nothing too vivid, yet subtly enlivening. I have traced the etiology of this object the better to convey the irrational significance of its loss. —Daphne Merkin, New York Times Magazine, 5 May 1991

  2. I have Freud in my novel as a doctor someone has heard about somewhere, perhaps in Vindobo-na in Pannonia (Vienna in Austria to you), who thinks, though not in so many words, that neuroses have no somatic etiology. I call him Sameach, which is Hebrew for Freud. I also call him Efcharistimenos, which is Greek for Freud. Damn it, I couldn't spell it out more if I tried. —Anthony Burgess, Times Literary Supplement, 2 Aug. 1985

  3. In social terms, regardless of its etiology, memory loss may be a way of coping with harsh reality. —Elizabeth W. Markson, Growing Old in America, (1985) 1987



Origin of etiology

Medieval Latin aetiologia statement of causes, from Greek aitiologia, from aitia cause


First Known Use: circa 1555


Medical Dictionary

etiology

noun eti·ol·o·gy

Medical Definition of etiology

plural etiologies

  1. 1:  the cause or causes of a disease or abnormal condition <some types of cancer have a viral etiology> <a multiple etiology in which biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors all play a role—M. E. Jackson et al>

  2. 2:  a branch of medical science dealing with the causes and origin of diseases



Variants of etiology

or chiefly British aetiology \ˌēt-ē-ˈäl-ə-jē\play


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