pro·​dro·​mal (ˌ)prō-ˈdrō-məl How to pronounce prodromal (audio)
medical : being a prodrome
… about 50% of patients may have prodromal symptoms that include malaise and fever.James W. Wheless
: marked by prodromes
… the prodromal stage of Alzheimer's.Barbara Ehrenreich
After exposure to mouse droppings and a compatible incubation period, a prodromal phase of fever, chills, headache, myalgias, and vomiting was followed within 3 to 7 days by the cardiopulmonary phase of cough and dyspnea.David K. Rhee et al.
prodromal individuals

Examples of prodromal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Early Parkinson’s detection and more The results of this experiment may help drive research into prodromal Parkinson’s disease. IEEE Spectrum, 11 July 2023 Furthermore, because current clinical tests are costly, diagnosing the disease in its prodromal stages—before tremor onset—can be difficult. IEEE Spectrum, 11 July 2023 Determining which attributes or traits are associated with an actual dementia diagnosis years later is key to better understanding the prodromal stage of dementia, when one's memory is deteriorating and early neurodegeneration is taking place. Ryan Prior, CNN, 14 Oct. 2020 The prodromal migraines, however, never went away. Jane Hu, The New Yorker, 19 Oct. 2022 Schulte and May found that on the day before a migraine struck (i.e. the 'preictal' or prodromal phase) evoked neural activity in the hypothalmus was higher, and functional connectivity between the hypothalamus and the brainstem was increased. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 22 May 2016 In about 2 in 5 cases, the illness started with the rash -- but no reported prodromal symptoms such as chills, headache or malaise. Deidre McPhillips, CNN, 17 Aug. 2022 Smith continues to pursue his own research while tracking research around the globe that might offer clues to the prodromal dream puzzle. Diane Bacha, Discover Magazine, 19 Jan. 2021 But what does the giant microwave gun, apricot Rockefeller Putin pedophile line of madness in today’s prodromal America mean? Matt Thompson, SPIN, 24 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prodromal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1716, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prodromal was in 1716

Dictionary Entries Near prodromal

Cite this Entry

“Prodromal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Medical Definition


pro·​dro·​mal (ˈ)prō-ˈdrō-məl How to pronounce prodromal (audio)
variants also prodromic
: being a prodrome
The rash may be pruritic, maculopapular, or morbilliform, and about 50% of patients may have prodromal symptoms that include malaise and fever.James W. Wheless, WebMD Scientific American Medicine
: marked by prodromes
the prodromal stage of a disease
For 84 (92%) of the patients, a prodromal illness occurring within two weeks before the onset of vomiting or neurological symptoms of Reye's syndrome was reported.The Journal of the American Medical Association
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