over·​di·​ag·​no·​sis ˌō-vər-ˌdī-ig-ˈnō-səs How to pronounce overdiagnosis (audio)
: the diagnosis of a condition or disease more often than it is actually present
ˌō-vər-ˈdī-ig-ˌnōs How to pronounce overdiagnosis (audio)
transitive verb

Examples of overdiagnosis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But medical experts are concerned that full-body MRI scans could do more harm than good for the majority of patients — setting up people who have no specific risk of cancer or another illness for overtreatment and overdiagnosis. Alex Knapp, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 Nonetheless, many experts agree that overdiagnosis is real and demonstrable at the population level. Asia Friedman, STAT, 27 July 2023 The funny thing is that overdiagnosis of PBD is just about the only concern that the DSM-V committee is responding to at all. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 21 Aug. 2012 Yet worrying about overdiagnosis does not help the treatment of individual patients, interventionists say. Asia Friedman, STAT, 27 July 2023 New research found that breast cancer screenings may be unnecessary for women over 70.1 The data showed that the likelihood of overdiagnosis—the detection of a cancer that would not have caused symptoms in a person’s lifetime—continues to go up with a woman's age. Maggie O'Neill, Health, 15 Aug. 2023 From the skeptical perspective, overdiagnosis represents a paradigm shift currently underway in thinking about cancer. Asia Friedman, STAT, 27 July 2023 Getting mammograms too early or too frequently has brought up concerns about false positives and overdiagnosis. Lauren J. Young, Scientific American, 2 June 2023 The rate of overdiagnosis more than doubled, from 8% of cases to 17%. Melissa Healy, Anchorage Daily News, 9 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overdiagnosis.' 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

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overdiagnosis was in 1971

Dictionary Entries Near overdiagnosis

Cite this Entry

“Overdiagnosis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overdiagnosis. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


over·​di·​ag·​no·​sis -ˌdī-ig-ˈnō-səs, -əg- How to pronounce overdiagnosis (audio)
plural overdiagnoses -ˌsēz How to pronounce overdiagnosis (audio)
: the diagnosis of a condition or disease (as Lyme disease) more often than it is actually present
overdiagnose transitive verb
overdiagnosed; overdiagnosing
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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