over·​di·​ag·​no·​sis | \ ˌō-vər-ˌdī-ig-ˈnō-səs How to pronounce overdiagnosis (audio) , -əg- \

Definition of overdiagnosis

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from overdiagnosis

overdiagnose \ ˌō-​vər-​ˈdī-​ig-​ˌnōs How to pronounce overdiagnosis (audio) , -​ˌnōz , -​ˌdī-​ig-​ˈnōs , -​ˈnōz , -​əg-​ \ transitive verb

Examples of overdiagnosis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Gilbert Welch, the overdiagnosis skeptic, suggested keeping the flow of real-time data to a minimum. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "First Look: Apple’s New Fitness+ Streaming Workouts," 14 Dec. 2020 Researchers estimate that among cancers detected by screening, some 11–19 percent of breast cancers and 20–50 percent of prostate cancers constitute overdiagnosis. Carolyn Barber, Scientific American, "COVID's Other Toll: Unnecessary Tests and Huge Hospital Bills," 24 Oct. 2020 But medicine has become a business replete with overdiagnosis and overtreatment—and skyrocketing medical charges. Carolyn Barber, Scientific American, "COVID's Other Toll: Unnecessary Tests and Huge Hospital Bills," 24 Oct. 2020 According to a study published in March in JAMA Internal Medicine, eliminating race from the GFR equation could lead to inappropriately early kidney transplants or dialysis, overdiagnosis of chronic kidney disease and inadequate dosing of drugs. NBC News, "Medical treatment often comes with racial bias. Here's how some are trying to fix it.," 16 June 2020 Continuously monitoring healthy infants can lead to overdiagnosis, according to an editorial co-authored by Dr. Bonafide that appeared in JAMA in 2017. Christina Caron, New York Times, "‘More Anxiety Than Relief’: Baby Monitors That Track Vital Signs Are Raising Questions," 17 Apr. 2020 Recent studies suggest that routine screenings can lead to overdiagnosis of breast cancer, identifying growths that don’t necessarily develop into life-threatening cancers. Amrita Khalid, Quartz, "Google’s AI for mammograms doesn’t account for racial differences," 9 Jan. 2020 Van Gils said the study is ongoing and that mathematical models will be run to make further predictions about mortality and overdiagnosis. Arkansas Online, "MRIs' breast-scan role focus of study," 28 Nov. 2019 That decision was prompted by concerns the test was leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Mike Stobbe, The Seattle Times, "US cancer death rate hits milestone: 25 years of decline," 8 Jan. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of overdiagnosis

1971, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overdiagnosis

Time Traveler for overdiagnosis

Time Traveler

The first known use of overdiagnosis was in 1971

See more words from the same year

Statistics for overdiagnosis

Last Updated

23 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overdiagnosis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overdiagnosis. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overdiagnosis


over·​di·​ag·​no·​sis | \ -ˌdī-ig-ˈnō-səs, -əg- How to pronounce overdiagnosis (audio) \
plural overdiagnoses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce overdiagnosis (audio) \

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-​ How to pronounce overdiagnosis (audio) \ 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!