pa·​thol·​o·​gy | \ pə-ˈthä-lə-jē \
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

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 Risk of mortality was up by 5.2 fold, and there was no single cause of death or pathology that was increased by a similar amount. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Drugs that kill off old cells may limit a body’s aging," 10 July 2018 In the meantime, a Washington state pathology lab, where some worms were first sent for identification, was unable to identify them. Washington Post, "She thought the weird sensation was a stray eyelash. It was eye worms.," 12 Feb. 2018 There was no reason for anyone to think the lump might be cancer, but Christina urged the surgeon to send the tissue sample to a pathology lab anyway. Laura Munson, Good Housekeeping, "The Cancer Her Doctors Missed," 27 Feb. 2012 Despite the potential, startups in this sector must overcome hurdles like slow adoption of digital pathology in their bid to transform an industry that has seen relatively little innovation until now. WSJ, "VC Daily: Cancer Sleuths Weigh Using AI; NEA Locks In Secondaries Solution," 3 Dec. 2018 For example, Americans’ traditional distrust of government can mutate from a sign of rude civic health into a pathology. Andrew Stuttaford, WSJ, "‘Pale Horse Rider’ Review: A Huckster at the Mic," 19 Sep. 2018 Ramsey and other researchers ran through the list of usual suspects in forest pathology over several years. Craig Sailor, The Seattle Times, "Some of Washington’s biggest trees are dying and scientists don’t know why," 10 Sep. 2018 The astute viewer can, because the character stuff’s more important, like the caring about them and understanding why or how or what is the pathology? Eric Johnson, Recode, "‘Billions’ co-creator Brian Koppelman says everyone knows how to tell a great story — but few get the chance," 19 July 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

12 Jan 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 \
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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