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 combination of his dyslexia and family history make for an interesting pathology, marked at once by shame and determination. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 McDonell said the medical examiner position would allow the county to continue to use Milwaukee County for pathology. Eddie Morales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Apr. 2022 Rachel Flores Jacinto, a medical and pathology transcriptionist with The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, will represent the medical professionals who have served and continue to serve the public during the coronavirus pandemic. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, 14 Apr. 2022 And both suggest that the impulse to cheat, cut corners and get over on chumps, if not inflict harm upon them outright, is far from some aberrant pathology in the American identity but rather a constitutive force. New York Times, 9 Feb. 2022 In its frontal lobe predominance, Adams' CTE pathology was similar to that of Hernandez, 27. Tina Burnside, CNN, 14 Dec. 2021 The main source of workers now is a fellowship program that offers training in forensic pathology. Meredith Cohn,, 17 Feb. 2022 The study, and coverage about it in the Washington Post, caused some strong reaction within the forensic pathology profession, including from Peterson. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 Apr. 2021 The immunohistochemical stain that colors tau protein helped Danielsen see the invisible: tau staining around the blood vessels in a distribution characteristic of a C.T.E.-type pathology. New York Times, 1 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of pathology was in 1611

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pathology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pathology


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

More from Merriam-Webster on pathology

Nglish: Translation of pathology for Spanish Speakers

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


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