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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, suicide rates among pathological gamblers were higher than among any other addictive disorder. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, and when to get help," 16 June 2019 Improving for the sake of improving is a pathological perspective. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "I Think I Hated This Tech Conference on Psychedelics," 8 June 2019 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

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.

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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

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Statistics for pathological

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for pathological

The first known use of pathological was in 1656

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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


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

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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

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