id·​i·​o·​path·​ic | \ ˌi-dē-ə-ˈpa-thik How to pronounce idiopathic (audio) \

Definition of idiopathic

1 : arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause : primary idiopathic epilepsy
2 : peculiar to the individual

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Other Words from idiopathic

idiopathically \ ˌi-​dē-​ə-​ˈpa-​thi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce idiopathically (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

Idiopathic joins the combining form "idio-" (from Greek idios, meaning "one's own" or "private") with "-pathic," a form that suggests the effects of disease. The combining form "idio-" is typically found in technical terms. Examples include idiographic, meaning "relating to or dealing with something concrete, individual, or unique;" idiolect, meaning "the language or speech pattern of one individual at a particular period of life;" and idiotype, meaning "the molecular structure and conformation of an antibody that confers its antigenic specificity." A more common "idio-" word is "idiosyncrasy," which most commonly refers to an unusual way in which a person behaves or thinks, or to an unusual part or feature of something.

Examples of idiopathic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The company was engaged in a brazen off-label marketing push, trying to get an old drug called Actimmune used as a treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a serious and deadly lung disease. Matthew Herper, STAT, "The ghosts of JPMs past: How 20 years of deals, scandal, and science have shaped health care," 9 Jan. 2020 Laing was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis two years ago. Molly Duerig, azcentral, "Arizona fares better than most in challenging environment for organ transplants," 27 Dec. 2019 Roche is buying Promedior to obtain its entire medicine portfolio — including its lead drug candidate, which showed encouraging results in a midstage clinical trial to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disorder. Jonathan Saltzman — Boston Globe, STAT, "Roche buying Promedior for $390 million to develop drugs for fibrotic disease," 15 Nov. 2019 Roche is buying Promedior to obtain its entire medicine portfolio — including its lead drug candidate, which showed encouraging results in a mid-stage clinical trial to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the lung disorder., "Swiss drug giant Roche buying Lexington’s Promedior for $390m - The Boston Globe," 15 Nov. 2019 According to Bartges, feline idiopathic cystitis is an example of a vexing animal health issue that can give us a peek into our own psychology. Daphne Miller, Washington Post, "A new meaning for ‘sick as a dog’? Your pet’s health may tell you something about your own," 1 July 2019 Razi was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy, a form that's thought to derive from genetics, in 2013 and placed on anti-seizure medication, the park said. Scottie Andrew And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "A beloved 10-year-old lion has died after an epileptic seizure, Pittsburgh zoo says," 10 July 2019 Fourteen people with the fatal lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis took a mix of the drugs dasatinib and quercetin for three weeks. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Can a single pill keep you healthy to 100?," 10 July 2019 This snaking twist of the spine can be congenital, the result of an underlying neurological condition or even a consequence of an injury, but the most prevalent type is idiopathic—meaning doctors have no idea what causes it. Lauren Depino, Glamour, "My Scoliosis Caused Me Pain and Shame—Then It Helped Me Learn to Find Alignment," 10 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'idiopathic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of idiopathic

1669, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for idiopathic

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The first known use of idiopathic was in 1669

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Idiopathic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for idiopathic


id·​io·​path·​ic | \ ˌid-ē-ə-ˈpath-ik How to pronounce idiopathic (audio) \

Medical Definition of idiopathic

: arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause : primary idiopathic epilepsy idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura

Other Words from idiopathic

idiopathically \ -​ˈpath-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce idiopathically (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on idiopathic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with idiopathic

Britannica English: Translation of idiopathic for Arabic Speakers

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