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

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Examples of pathologize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The answer to the question of whether America’s Great Society would center racial and economic justice or further criminalize and pathologize black communities came in 1968 with the Safe Streets Crime Bill. National Geographic, "How will the protests end? History tells us much depends on how government responds," 12 June 2020 The film, in which each of Simmons’s accusers affirms her prior affection for the mogul and love of black men in general, doesn’t set out to pathologize an entire demographic. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "On the Record and the Women Hip-Hop Sacrifices," 1 June 2020 Through Marianne, the show depicts the complexity of a young woman’s sexuality with empathy, even avoiding some of the book’s tendency to pathologize her desires. Eleanor Stanford, New York Times, "‘Normal People’ Takes Sex Seriously," 17 Apr. 2020 To pathologize your own creative frustration feels to me like an act of ego. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, "In Making Comics, Lynda Barry Shares the Secrets of Her Success," 5 Dec. 2019 Fat discrimination is unacceptable and so is the scientifically debunked diet industry that continues to ridicule, pathologize, and obsess about fat people. Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Teen Vogue, "How I Learned to Embrace Calling Myself Fat," 29 Aug. 2019 The opportunity to pathologize certain behaviors is appealing. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Why Is There a ‘Gaming Disorder’ But No ‘Smartphone Disorder?’," 28 June 2018 But the medical community used other terms in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM, to pathologize gender nonconformity, including transsexualism and gender identity disorder. Emanuella Grinberg, CNN, "What is medically necessary treatment for gender-affirming health care?," 31 May 2018 Yet many mental-health experts say that to pathologize this conduct is to fail to deal with the underlying causes. Elizabeth Bernstein, WSJ, "Think You’re Addicted to Sex? Here Are Treatment Options," 18 Dec. 2017

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.

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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

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pathologize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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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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