pa·​thol·​o·​gize | \ pə-ˈthä-lə-ˌjīz How to pronounce pathologize (audio) \
pathologized; pathologizing

Definition of pathologize

transitive verb

: to view or characterize as medically or psychologically abnormal natural hormonal shifts have been pathologized— Joyce C. Mills

Examples of pathologize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Much like weakness, gullibility can be used to pathologize people for understandable mistakes, misplaced bets, and desperate behaviors generated by the very effort to survive modern life. Hannah Zeavin, Harper’s Magazine , 22 June 2022 The words associated with and available to the community, once limited largely to language meant to demean or pathologize, have expanded to include more neutral or positive terms. Marc Ramirez, USA TODAY, 10 June 2022 However, that should not lead us to pathologize mental health in general. Naz Beheshti, Forbes, 26 May 2022 Remember, too, that many of the things these influencers pathologize—occasional bloating, imperfect skin, feeling tired—are completely normal and nothing to worry about. Christine Byrne, Outside Online, 8 July 2021 Some experts are calling for more investment and research into drugs for weight loss and obesity, but critics argue that doing so may unjustly pathologize and stigmatize weight. Yasmin Tayag, Fortune, 21 Oct. 2021 But a lack of clear guidelines around eco-anxiety and climate change means that many therapists pathologize their clients’ anxiety, or treat it as an unhealthy response. Isobel Whitcomb, Scientific American, 19 Apr. 2021 As an executive and leadership coach, my goal is to go deeper with my clients and reveal what's under the surface—not to do personal archeology but just to reveal a little emotional vulnerability and to normalize, not pathologize. Patrick Williams, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2021 This is a prominent pattern in origin stories and conspiracy theories of diseases, which often pathologize exotic places and allege foreign malfeasance to make a new threat seem more comprehensible and controllable. Sabrina Sholts, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pathologize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pathologize

1649, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pathologize

pathology + -ize

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Time Traveler for pathologize

Time Traveler

The first known use of pathologize was in 1649

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Statistics for pathologize

Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pathologize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for pathologize


transitive verb
variants: or chiefly British pathologise \ -​ˌjīz \
pathologized or chiefly British pathologised; pathologizing or chiefly British pathologising

Medical Definition of pathologize

: to view or characterize as medically or psychologically abnormal natural hormonal shifts have been pathologized— Joyce C. Mills pathologizing childhood behavior— Ruth Shalit

Other Words from pathologize

pathologization or chiefly British pathologisation \ pə-​ˌthäl-​ə-​jə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun


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