pathological

adjective
path·​o·​log·​i·​cal | \ ˌpa-thə-ˈlä-ji-kəl \
variants: or less commonly pathologic \ ˌpa-​thə-​ˈlä-​jik \

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 \ 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

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 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 Consequently, some researchers assume that problematic gaming might share some of the same neurobiological mechanisms as pathological gambling and substance dependence. Melissa Healy, Washington Post, "World Health Organization says video game addiction is a disease. Why American psychiatrists don’t," 2 July 2018 Instead of being praised as a straight-shooter, I was called a gold-digger, a con artist, and a pathological liar. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Read Andrea Constand's Powerful Impact Statement About Bill Cosby," 25 Sep. 2018 Conversion Therapy Goes Underground In the face of mounting pressure from gay rights groups as well as evidence that being gay wasn’t pathological, the APA declassified homosexuality as a mental illness by removing it from the DSM in 1973. Chelsea Greenwood Lassman, Teen Vogue, "How Gay Conversion Therapy Came to Be, and How It Persists Today," 7 Aug. 2018

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pathological

Share pathological

Statistics for pathological

Last Updated

9 Jan 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

: of or relating to the study of diseases : relating to pathology

pathological

adjective
patho·​log·​i·​cal | \ ˌpath-ə-ˈläj-i-kəl \
variants: also pathologic \ -​ik \

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 \ 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

marked by shyness and lack of polish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!