prog·​no·​sis | \ präg-ˈnō-səs How to pronounce prognosis (audio) \
plural prognoses\ präg-​ˈnō-​ˌsēz How to pronounce prognoses (audio) \

Definition of prognosis

1 : the prospect of recovery as anticipated from the usual course of disease or peculiarities of the case

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Prognosis Is Not Just a Medical Term

With its prefix pro-, meaning "before", prognosis means basically "knowledge beforehand" of how a situation is likely to turn out. Prognosis was originally a strictly medical term, but it soon broadened to include predictions made by experts of all kinds. Thus, for example, economists are constantly offering prognoses (notice the irregular plural form) about where the economy is going, and climate scientists regularly prognosticate about how quickly the earth's atmosphere is warming.

Examples of prognosis in a Sentence

Right now, doctors say his prognosis is good. The president had a hopeful prognosis about the company's future.

Recent Examples on the Web

Under my legislation, to qualify for aid-in-dying medication, a terminally ill person must have a six-month prognosis and must be able to self-administer the medication. Chris Eaton, Twin Cities, "Chris Eaton: My end-of-life bill lets people make decisions about their health care if they can — and it protects those who can’t," 15 Sep. 2019 But thanks to a new form of chemo for prostate cancer, his prognosis has improved greatly. Susan King,, "Faced with cancer, longtime showbiz reporter David Sheehan looks back at his lifetime of celebrity interviews," 27 June 2019 As our environmental prognosis grows increasingly grim, designers have started to think about ways to mitigate what feels like an an inevitable crash course with nature. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "In the Maldives, MIT experiment fights rising sea levels with nature," 21 June 2019 His prognosis has dwindled from months to weeks to live as the cancer has spread to his heart and lungs. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "'What I want is a peaceful death': Kevin Roster has only weeks to live – and that's why he moved to California," 7 June 2019 Despite huge progress, a subset of ALL children continued to have a grim prognosis with standard chemotherapy. Marie Mccullough,, "How conquering a rare leukemia in children revolutionized cancer care for millions," 6 June 2019 Heidi Winchester was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and was given a terminal prognosis last year, according to court records., "Judge clears way for man accused of killing cancer-stricken wife to attend son’s high school graduation in Lake Oswego," 4 June 2019 Deutsche Telekom will report free cash flow after leases to help shareholders understand the impact of the new accounting rules and compare the company’s performance to prior reporting periods and its medium-term prognosis. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "CFOs Overhaul Performance Measures in Response to New Accounting Rules," 2 May 2019 Fast-forward a couple of years, however, and the prognosis is not so sunny. Gilbert Garcia,, "Get ready to pay a price for San Antonio’s homestead exemption," 9 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prognosis.' 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 prognosis

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prognosis

Late Latin, from Greek prognōsis, literally, foreknowledge, from progignōskein to know before, from pro- + gignōskein to know — more at know

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Statistics for prognosis

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for prognosis

The first known use of prognosis was in 1655

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More Definitions for prognosis



English Language Learners Definition of prognosis

: a doctor's opinion about how someone will recover from an illness or injury
: a judgment about what is going to happen in the future


prog·​no·​sis | \ präg-ˈnō-səs How to pronounce prognosis (audio) \
plural prognoses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce prognoses (audio) \

Medical Definition of prognosis

1 : the act or art of foretelling the course of a disease
2 : the prospect of survival and recovery from a disease as anticipated from the usual course of that disease or indicated by special features of the case the prognosis is poor because of the accompanying cardiovascular disease— P. A. Mead et al

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Comments on prognosis

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concealment of treason or felony

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