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noun symp·tom \ˈsim(p)-təm\

Simple Definition of symptom

  • : a change in the body or mind which indicates that a disease is present

  • : a change which shows that something bad exists : a sign of something bad

Full Definition of symptom

  1. 1a :  subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance; broadly :  something that indicates the presence of bodily disorderb :  an evident reaction by a plant to a pathogen

  2. 2a :  something that indicates the existence of something else <symptoms of an inner turmoil>b :  a slight indication :  trace

symp·tom·less play \-ləs\ adjective

Origin of symptom

Late Latin symptomat-, symptoma, from Greek symptōmat-, symptōma happening, attribute, symptom, from sympiptein to happen, from syn- + piptein to fall — more at feather

First Known Use: 1541

Synonym Discussion of symptom

sign, mark, token, note, symptom mean a discernible indication of what is not itself directly perceptible. sign applies to any indication to be perceived by the senses or the reason <encouraging signs for the economy>. mark suggests something impressed on or inherently characteristic of a thing often in contrast to general outward appearance <a mark of a good upbringing>. token applies to something that serves as a proof of something intangible <this gift is a token of our esteem>. note suggests a distinguishing mark or characteristic <a note of irony in her writing>. symptom suggests an outward indication of an internal change or condition <rampant crime is a symptom of that city's decay>.

SYMPTOM Defined for Kids


noun symp·tom \ˈsimp-təm\

Definition of symptom

  1. 1 :  a noticeable change in the body or its functions that indicates the presence of a disease or other disorder

  2. 2 :  indication 2, sign <Loss of jobs is a symptom of a weakening economy.>

Medical Dictionary


noun symp·tom \ˈsim(p)-təm\

Medical Definition of symptom

  1. :  subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance observed by the patient <headache is a symptom of many diseases> <visual disturbances may be a symptom of retinal arteriosclerosis>; broadly :  something that indicates the presence of a physical disorder—compare sign 2

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up symptom? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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