mis·​di·​ag·​nose ˌmis-ˈdī-ig-ˌnōs How to pronounce misdiagnose (audio)
misdiagnosed; misdiagnosing

transitive verb

: to diagnose (someone or something) incorrectly
… babesiosis is often missed or misdiagnosed as malaria or flu.Linda Marsa
The researchers added that children with this disease are often misdiagnosed and thus inappropriately treated …Jane E. Brody

Examples of misdiagnose in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Younger people, especially, often are misdiagnosed with depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Lauren J. Mapp, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2023 Little had been misdiagnosed a few months earlier, initially with a noncancerous fibroid tumor, common in young Black women and something that runs in her family. Essence, 1 Nov. 2023 Because there isn’t a single diagnostic test for inflammatory bowel disease, many patients spend years either undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or untreated. Lauren J. Mapp, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Oct. 2023 Some of the veterans KARE 11 spoke with said they were misdiagnosed following brief screenings that did not sufficiently assess brain injuries. Sarah Volpenhein, Journal Sentinel, 12 May 2023 When applied to a large and diverse population, this means that the medical needs of a select population–such as people of color, underrepresented communities, people with disabilities, or people with a specific type of health plan coverage–can be ignored, overlooked, or misdiagnosed. Chevon Rariy, Fortune, 3 Oct. 2023 Cathy Kassis, 5, was misdiagnosed by doctors as having a common cold, but ended up dying from the bacterial infection Strep A A family is grappling with the unexpected loss of their 5-year-old daughter. Sandra Rose Salathe, Peoplemag, 12 Sep. 2023 The disease was first identified here after an 80-year-old man in northern Queens died in late August of 1999 of what was initially misdiagnosed as St. Louis encephalitis. Andy Newman, New York Times, 29 Aug. 2023 When her friends raised concerns, Zuniga saw a doctor who misdiagnosed her with depression. Korin Miller, SELF, 21 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'misdiagnose.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of misdiagnose was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near misdiagnose

Cite this Entry

“Misdiagnose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misdiagnose. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


transitive verb
mis·​di·​ag·​nose (ˈ)mis-ˈdī-ig-ˌnōs, -ˌnōz How to pronounce misdiagnose (audio)
misdiagnosed; misdiagnosing
: to diagnose incorrectly

More from Merriam-Webster on misdiagnose

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