over·​di·​ag·​no·​sis | \ˌō-vər-ˌdī-ig-ˈnō-səs, -əg-\

Definition of overdiagnosis 

: the diagnosis of a condition or disease more often than it is actually present

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Other Words from overdiagnosis

overdiagnose \ˌō-​vər-​ˈdī-​ig-​ˌnōs, -​ˌnōz, -​ˌdī-​ig-​ˈnōs, -​ˈnōz, -​əg-​ \ transitive verb

Examples of overdiagnosis in a Sentence

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Also, two extra women would be treated for tumors that never would have become life-threatening — that overdiagnosis problem. Lauran Neergaard, Fox News, "A better mammogram? Huge study putting 3-D scans to the test," 7 Dec. 2017 The diagnostic criteria are still fuzzy, and the potential for overdiagnosis is enormous. Benedict Carey, New York Times, "Endless Gaming May Be a Bad Habit. That Doesn’t Make It a Mental Illness.," 2 July 2018 No standards can eliminate the risk of overdiagnosis. Carrie Arnold, Newsweek, "Heart Disease: Children Are Developing Conditions Tied to Aging—and Pediatricians Are on High Alert," 5 Sep. 2017 The paper’s authors also say that an abnormal reading could cause an overdiagnosis of an infant, which could spark a visit to the ER, followed by unnecessary blood tests and X-rays. Korin Miller, SELF, "Exactly How Crucial Are These High-Tech Baby-Monitoring Devices?," 14 Aug. 2017

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

1971, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overdiagnosis

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for overdiagnosis

The first known use of overdiagnosis was in 1971

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More Definitions for overdiagnosis


over·​di·​ag·​no·​sis | \-ˌdī-ig-ˈnō-səs, -əg- \
plural overdiagnoses\-​ˌsēz \

Medical Definition of overdiagnosis 

: the diagnosis of a condition or disease (as Lyme disease) more often than it is actually present

Other Words from overdiagnosis

overdiagnose \-​ˈdī-​ig-​ˌnōs, -​ˌnōz, -​ˌdī-​ig-​ˈ, -​əg-​ \ transitive verb overdiagnosed; overdiagnosing

Comments on overdiagnosis

What made you want to look up overdiagnosis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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