Definition of idiopathic
- idiopathic epilepsy
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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.
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.
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