pa·​thol·​o·​gy | \ pə-ˈthä-lə-jē How to pronounce pathology (audio) \
plural pathologies

Definition of pathology

1 : the study of the essential nature of diseases and especially of the structural and functional changes produced by them studied plant pathology
2 : something abnormal:
a : the structural and functional deviations from the normal that constitute disease or characterize a particular disease the pathology of pneumonia
b : deviation from propriety or from an assumed normal state of something nonliving or nonmaterial the pathology of wine
c : deviation giving rise to social ills connections between these pathologies … and crime— Wendy Kaminer social pathology

Examples of pathology in a Sentence

the pathology of lung diseases

Recent Examples on the Web

Media used the term pathology to describe her life, too. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018 The particular pathologies of politics in an age of rapid demographic and cultural change are serious and worrying. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The political tribalism of Andrew Sullivan," 11 Dec. 2018 This means that, unlike some of the other drugs on this list, mood stabilizers affect the actual pathology of the disease instead of only the symptoms, Nassir Ghaemi, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, tells SELF. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Bipolar Disorder Treatments You Should Know About," 30 Nov. 2018 But in other instances, Mr. Mealer explores the pathology of rural poverty, with its limited opportunities and the irresistible temptations of get-rich-quick schemes. Andrew R. Graybill, WSJ, "What to Give: History Books," 15 Nov. 2018 Cooking at home is a major source of foodborne illness as well, Philip M. Tierno, Ph.D., clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at NYU Langone Health and author of the book The Secret Life of Germs, tells SELF. Jenna Flannigan, SELF, "8 Surprising Food Safety Mistakes You Might Be Making," 11 Jan. 2019 Many consider De Sedibus to be the first pathology textbook and Morgagni to be the father of pathologic anatomy. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Complete History of the Autopsy," 26 Dec. 2018 According to the thoracic surgeon, Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had surgery for malignant lung growths," 21 Dec. 2018 Charges from UCHealth, plus other charges from the independent physicians and anesthesia, pathology, emergency medicine and radiology departments brought Mr. Stockman’s total bill for his time in Colorado to more than $1 million. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "John Stockman’s Medical Bills Topped $1 Million. What Happened?," 27 Dec. 2018

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

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pathology

New Latin pathologia & Middle French pathologie, from Greek pathologia study of the emotions, from path- + -logia -logy

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Statistics for pathology

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for pathology

The first known use of pathology was in 1611

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English Language Learners Definition of pathology

: the study of diseases and of the changes that they cause
: changes in a person, an animal, or a plant that are caused by disease


pa·​thol·​o·​gy | \ -jē How to pronounce pathology (audio) \
plural pathologies

Medical Definition of pathology

1 : the study of the essential nature of diseases and especially of the structural and functional changes produced by them
2 : the anatomic and physiological deviations from the normal that constitute disease or characterize a particular disease
3 : a treatise on or compilation of abnormalities a new pathology of the eye

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More from Merriam-Webster on pathology

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pathology

Spanish Central: Translation of pathology

Nglish: Translation of pathology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pathology for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pathology

Comments on pathology

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


an act or instance of returning to life

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