neu·rop·a·thy | \nu̇-ˈrä-pə-thē, nyu̇-\
plural neuropathies

Definition of neuropathy 

1 : damage, disease, or dysfunction of one or more nerves especially of the peripheral nervous system that is typically marked by burning or shooting pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness or atrophy, is often degenerative, and is usually caused by injury, infection, disease, drugs, toxins, or vitamin deficiency Each of the drugs comes with a long list of possible nasty side effects, ranging from liver and kidney damage to pancreatitis and neuropathy in the limbs.— David Sanford …the condition known as diabetic neuropathy, a gradual deterioration of peripheral nerves that generally affects old patients and initially causes a painful burning sensation in the hands and feet.— Sandra Blakeslee neuropathy involving the seventh cranial nerve was caused by being hit in the face by the stick.— Clifton P. Rose — see also peripheral neuropathy

2 : a condition (such as Guillain-Barré syndrome marked by neuropathy

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Other Words from neuropathy

neuropathic \ˌnu̇r-ə-ˈpa-thik, ˌnyu̇r- \ adjective
neuropathically \ˌnu̇r-ə-ˈpa-thi-k(ə-)lē, ˌnyu̇r- \ adverb

Examples of neuropathy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Ironically, numbness of the foot often accompanies the painful prickling sensations of neuropathy, which can lead to obvious dangers. Joyce Wiswell For The Knee Institute, Detroit Free Press, "Unique therapies ease painful neuropathy," 20 Mar. 2018 In 1988, Douglas Wallace, now at the University of Pennsylvania, and his colleagues discovered that people with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy all share the same mutation in their mitochondrial DNA. Carl Zimmer, STAT, "Shot through with microbes: How our bodies adapt to a hidden world of bacteria," 30 May 2018 Unity Biotech is also working toward clinical trials of drugs for glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic neuropathy — all considered diseases of aging. Melissa Healy,, "This drug cocktail reduced signs of age-related diseases and extended life in mice and human cells," 10 July 2018 Acute headaches, neuropathy in my fingers, carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrists, and the hallmark sign of anxiety: insomnia from 4:00 to 6:00 a.m. But there were deeper ones too. Annabelle Dunne, Vogue, "I Took 30 Days Off From My Job, Family, and Cell Phone—Here’s What Happened," 17 June 2018 The cause was heart ailments and neuropathy, said a daughter, Anne Russell. Washington Post, "Lydia Lotus Siu, golfer, painter, florist," 31 May 2018 The condition came to be known as Leber hereditary optic neuropathy. Carl Zimmer, STAT, "Shot through with microbes: How our bodies adapt to a hidden world of bacteria," 30 May 2018 Damage to the nervous tissue of the CNS (brain-spinal cord) with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, and other associated neuropathies. Sam Wood,, "Pa. marijuana board OKs sale of cannabis leaf and flower," 9 Apr. 2018 Read More John Morgan sues state for blocking the smoking of medical marijuana Two of the plaintiffs are Diana Dodson of Levy County, who has HIV and neuropathy, and Cathy Jordan of Manatee County, who has Lou Gehrig's disease. Mary Ellen Klas And Elizabeth Koh, miamiherald, "Should Florida should let patients smoke marijuana? A judge is hearing arguments | Miami Herald," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neuropathy.' 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 neuropathy

circa 1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for neuropathy

neuro- + -pathy, probably after Italian neuropatia or French névropathie

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9 Sep 2018

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The first known use of neuropathy was circa 1834

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neu·rop·a·thy | \n(y)u̇-ˈräp-ə-thē \
plural neuropathies

Medical Definition of neuropathy 

: an abnormal and usually degenerative state of the nervous system or nerves also : a systemic condition (as muscular atrophy) that stems from a neuropathy

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