pro·​drome ˈprō-ˌdrōm How to pronounce prodrome (audio)
: a premonitory symptom of disease

Examples of prodrome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After exposure, the prodrome of high fever begins about 10 to 12 days later and the rash appears around 14 days later. Mark Kortepeter, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 What to do when prodrome symptoms hit During the prodrome phase, there’s typically no sharp, wincing pain (like there is an attack), outside of some potential stiffness in your muscles. Julia Ries, SELF, 14 July 2023 In fact the American Migraine Foundation states that most people with migraine will notice at least one or more signs of the prodrome phase (pre-headache or premonitory phase) about 24–48 hours before the main attack, although not necessarily before every episode. Sara Lindberg, SELF, 22 Feb. 2022 Some people with migraine also experience fleeting blind spots or flashing lights during their prodrome (an early phase that signals the onset of other symptoms of migraine), or more rarely, what’s known as an ocular or retinal migraine, which can involve temporary loss of vision in one eye. Petra Guglielmetti, Glamour, 13 Sep. 2022 The first phase is called the prodrome, explains Dawn Buse, a clinical professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Anna Funk, Discover Magazine, 27 Mar. 2021 The feeling that the Reagan era was coming is a migraine prodrome, a hangover suffered before a decades-long binge on Militarism, Bogus Optimism, and Imperial Fantasy that hasn’t abated yet. Jonathan Lethem, The New Yorker, 24 Oct. 2022 Even migraine’s milder prodrome and postdrome (pre- and post-headache) symptoms, like irritability, fatigue, and muscle stiffness, can easily and understandably tamp down your feistiness. Petra Guglielmetti, Glamour, 20 Sep. 2022 The next period is called the prodrome period, when the first set of symptoms occurs (not including a rash). Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 26 May 2022 See More

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

Word History


French, literally, precursor, from Greek prodromos, from pro- before + dromos act of running, racecourse — more at pro-, dromedary

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prodrome was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near prodrome

Cite this Entry

“Prodrome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Medical Definition


pro·​drome ˈprō-ˌdrōm How to pronounce prodrome (audio)
: one or more symptoms that signal the impending onset of disease or illness and that often appear before other closely related or indicative symptoms
… anthrax begins with a prodrome featuring fever, malaise, and fatigue. A nonproductive cough and vague chest discomfort may be present. This prodrome may be followed by symptomatic improvement for 2 to 3 days or may progress directly to the abrupt onset of severe respiratory distress with dyspnea, stridor, diaphoresis, and cyanosis.David R. Franz et al., Journal of the American Medical Association

called also prodroma

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