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

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 After winning a slalom in Vermont last season, Shiffrin presented her podium flowers and teddy bear to a nine-year-old ski racer from Connecticut, named Gabriella Kolev, who has juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Eric Willemsen, The Seattle Times, "‘Like an angel’: Shiffrin inspired by cancer survivor," 4 Feb. 2019 But in many children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, blood tests won’t reveal any significant abnormalities. Korin Miller, SELF, "Claire Foy on What It Was Like to Have 'Extremely Painful' Juvenile Arthritis," 9 Jan. 2019 Unfortunately, juvenile idiopathic arthritis can progress to rheumatoid arthritis in some cases. Korin Miller, SELF, "Claire Foy on What It Was Like to Have 'Extremely Painful' Juvenile Arthritis," 9 Jan. 2019 But in this case, the man seemed to have a chronic, idiopathic case, meaning there was no clear cause of the gargantuan guts. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Explosive case of poop-packed “megacolon” prompts warning from doctors," 23 Aug. 2018 For the past 10 years, Dripps had struggled with spinal deterioration and had a dual diagnosis of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis and ankylosing spondylitis. Janelle Walker, Elgin Courier-News, "Family of man who shot 3 officers in South Elgin standoff says he was distraught with health, financial woes," 10 July 2018 Gorham was the head coach at Sacred Heart from 2004-11 season before idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease, forced him to step down, and ultimately required him to undergo a double lung transplant and double leg amputation. . ., "World Cup referees prepared to take good long look at video reviews," 13 June 2018

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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Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for idiopathic

The first known use of idiopathic was in 1669

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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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