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

The most basic is that the pathology long predates Trump’s election. Christopher Beha, Harper's magazine, "Winning the Peace," 10 May 2019 The doctors also provide all pathology and on-site radiology services at Jewish. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "The deadline on the Jewish Hospital-University of Louisville deal has been extended," 18 Jan. 2019 One speech from an alum wasn’t going to change the place or its pathologies. Jason Zengerle, Town & Country, "Brett Kavanaugh and the Private School Pecking Order," 16 Oct. 2018 Randolph's in grad school for speech pathology and just finished her winter term, so that could explain her fairly quiet life of late. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "What 'Bachelor' Contestant Cassie Randolph's Instagram Tells Us About Her Post-Show Life," 5 Feb. 2019 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

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

borrowed from Middle French & New Latin; Middle French pathologie, borrowed from New Latin pathologia "study of the emotions, study of diseases," from patho- patho- + -logia -logy

Note: Probably formed on the basis of New Latin pathologicus (see pathological). In the sense "study of the emotions," perhaps directly from Greek pathología "study of the passions," attested in Greek-Latin glossaries.

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15 Jun 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

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behavior toward others

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