psy·​cho·​pa·​thol·​o·​gy ˌsī-kō-pə-ˈthä-lə-jē How to pronounce psychopathology (audio)
: the study of psychological and behavioral dysfunction occurring in mental illness or in social disorganization
also : such dysfunction
psychopathological adjective
or less commonly psychopathologic
psychopathologically adverb
psychopathologist noun

Examples of psychopathology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Detractors argue that a taxonomy designed using superficial commonalities is still a long way from mapping the nature of psychopathology. Manvir Singh, The New Yorker, 6 May 2024 This one was designed to ameliorate rather than exacerbate psychopathologies. Gillian Silverman, The New Yorker, 15 July 2023 Where did politics end and psychology—or psychopathology—begin? Scott Stossel, The Atlantic, 4 Aug. 2023 In short, my father’s work appeared to show that subliminal perception was a real and verifiable phenomenon, as were the Freudian principles on which diagnosed psychopathology rested. Gillian Silverman, The New Yorker, 15 July 2023 Too many myopic serial-killer stories begin and end with the psychology of the perpetrator, revealing only slightly different flavors of psychopathology. Time, 7 July 2023 About 25 percent struggle temporarily with psychopathology such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder and then recover—a pattern known as the recovery trajectory. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, 1 July 2020 Plus a little psychopathology., 20 Nov. 2020 Opponents argue that such a change would be premature; much remains unknown about atypical anorexia, including its brain biology, genetics and psychopathology, all of which could help inform treatment and the development of drugs. Kate Siber, New York Times, 18 Oct. 2022

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of psychopathology was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near psychopathology

Cite this Entry

“Psychopathology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


psy·​cho·​pa·​thol·​o·​gy ˌsī-kō-pə-ˈthäl-ə-jē, -pa- How to pronounce psychopathology (audio)
plural psychopathologies
: the study of psychological and behavioral dysfunction occurring in mental illness or in social disorganization
: disordered psychological and behavioral functioning (as in mental illness)
the theory that holidays are associated with an increased incidence of psychopathologyScience News

More from Merriam-Webster on psychopathology

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