pathological

adjective
path·​o·​log·​i·​cal | \ ˌpa-thə-ˈlä-ji-kəl How to pronounce pathological (audio) \
variants: or less commonly pathologic \ ˌpa-​thə-​ˈlä-​jik How to pronounce pathologic (audio) \

Definition of pathological

1 : of or relating to pathology pathological research A pathological examination led to the diagnosis.
2 : altered or caused by disease pathological changes in the body also : indicative of disease pathological symptoms
3 : being such to a degree that is extreme, excessive, or markedly abnormal a pathological liar pathological fear

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pathological

pathologically \ ˌpa-​thə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce pathologically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of pathological in a Sentence

He is a pathological liar. She has a pathological fear of heights. pathological changes in the body
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The documentary took a stance against the view of childbirth as inherently pathological and emphasized the intuitive power of a woman’s body and the normalcy of birth. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "A Frustrating Year of Reporting on Black Maternal Health," 14 June 2018 But over the subsequent weeks and months, Meehan slowly revealed himself to be the very opposite: A pathological liar with an ugly temper, a criminal past, and a long history of conning, manipulating, and abusing women. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of the Events of Dirty John," 14 Jan. 2019 Unfortunately the theory still dominated pathological discourse until the 19th century. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Complete History of the Autopsy," 26 Dec. 2018 The portrayal of addicts as pathological shapes everything from our drug policy to our coke rap. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018 Instead of being praised as a straight-shooter, I was called a gold-digger, a con artist, and a pathological liar. Fox News, "Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand's full victim impact statement to the court about her experience," 26 Sep. 2018 Kraus and Reid both note as an example how the understanding of pathological gambling as a behavioral issue has changed over time. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Compulsive Sexual Behavior Is Now Recognized as a Disorder, But It isn’t the Same as Sex Addiction," 27 July 2018 Instead of being praised as a straight-shooter, I was called a gold-digger, a con artist, and a pathological liar. Fox News, "Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand's full victim impact statement to the court about her experience," 26 Sep. 2018 Its temperature increments—every degree between 140 F and 212 F—allow for near-pathological levels of control. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "Hack Your Coffee: How to Use a French Press the Right Way," 15 Feb. 2015

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

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pathological

New Latin pathologicus "of the study of the passions, of the study of diseases" (borrowed from Greek pathologikós, from patho- patho- + -logikos, from -logia -logy + -ikos -ic entry 1) + -al entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pathological

Statistics for pathological

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pathological

The first known use of pathological was in 1656

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pathological

pathological

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of pathological

: extreme in a way that is not normal or that shows an illness or mental problem
medical : relating to or caused by disease
technical : of or relating to the study of diseases : relating to pathology

pathological

adjective
patho·​log·​i·​cal | \ ˌpath-ə-ˈläj-i-kəl How to pronounce pathological (audio) \
variants: also pathologic \ -​ik How to pronounce pathologic (audio) \

Medical Definition of pathological

1 : of or relating to pathology a pathological laboratory
2 : altered or caused by disease pathological tissue also : indicative of disease pathological lesions

Other Words from pathological

pathologically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce pathologically (audio) \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pathological

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pathological

Spanish Central: Translation of pathological

Nglish: Translation of pathological for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pathological

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

WORD OF THE DAY

one that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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