symptom

noun
symp·​tom | \ ˈsim(p)-təm How to pronounce symptom (audio) \

Definition of symptom

1a : subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance broadly : something that indicates the presence of bodily disorder
b : an evident reaction by a plant to a pathogen
2a : something that indicates the existence of something else symptoms of an inner turmoil
b : a slight indication : trace

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Other Words from symptom

symptomless \ ˈsim(p)-​təm-​ləs How to pronounce symptomless (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for symptom

sign, mark, token, note, symptom mean a discernible indication of what is not itself directly perceptible. sign applies to any indication to be perceived by the senses or the reason. encouraging signs for the economy mark suggests something impressed on or inherently characteristic of a thing often in contrast to general outward appearance. a mark of a good upbringing token applies to something that serves as a proof of something intangible. this gift is a token of our esteem note suggests a distinguishing mark or characteristic. a note of irony in her writing symptom suggests an outward indication of an internal change or condition. rampant crime is a symptom of that city's decay

Examples of symptom in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Albert's mother died at the age of 30 from stomach cancer, and a number of experts have argued that those earlier stomach issues were merely a symptom of cancerous growth. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How Did Queen Victoria's Husband Prince Albert Die?," 4 Mar. 2019 That's actually a really common symptom that people experience in a multitude of different ways. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "7 Period Symptoms That Are Totally Normal," 5 Dec. 2018 Both media coverage of women’s appearance and congressional rules around women’s dress are a symptom of something bigger, Dittmar noted: the fact that women still aren’t completely welcome in the halls of government. Anna North, Vox, "America’s sexist obsession with what women politicians wear, explained," 3 Dec. 2018 What the Echo Auto really is, though, is a symptom of the messy state of in-car software. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Amazon’s Echo Auto is another quick fix for the broken state of in-car infotainment," 21 Sep. 2018 Then head to your doctor, as bad breath could be a symptom of various medical conditions such as sinus or lung infections, bronchitis, gastric reflux, a tonsil infection, and even some liver or kidney diseases. Samantha Lefave, Redbook, "Why You Should Never Ignore Sweet-Smelling Urine (or These Other Body Odors)," 3 Aug. 2018 Sometimes, what looks like procrastination may actually be a symptom of something more serious, such as depression, anxiety or attention problems, Ballard says. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Psychologists Explain Why You Procrastinate — And How to Stop," 29 June 2018 Bark scorpion bites can cause additional symptoms, such as excessive saliva, difficulty swallowing, agitation and twitchy eyes — any of these need to be treated at an emergency room. Kelsey Mo, azcentral, "Top 5 calls to Poison Control and what the hotline advises you should do," 18 June 2018 But trade is merely a symptom of a larger rearrangement of American alienation from its partners. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Fulfilling Russia’s Dream of Splitting the Western Alliance," 8 June 2018

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

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for symptom

Late Latin symptomat-, symptoma, from Greek symptōmat-, symptōma happening, attribute, symptom, from sympiptein to happen, from syn- + piptein to fall — more at feather

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Statistics for symptom

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for symptom

The first known use of symptom was in 1541

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More Definitions for symptom

symptom

noun

English Language Learners Definition of symptom

: a change in the body or mind which indicates that a disease is present
: a change which shows that something bad exists : a sign of something bad

symptom

noun
symp·​tom | \ ˈsimp-təm How to pronounce symptom (audio) \

Kids Definition of symptom

1 : a noticeable change in the body or its functions that indicates the presence of a disease or other disorder
2 : indication sense 2, sign Loss of jobs is a symptom of a weakening economy.

symptom

noun
symp·​tom | \ ˈsim(p)-təm How to pronounce symptom (audio) \

Medical Definition of symptom

: subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance observed by the patient headache is a symptom of many diseases visual disturbances may be a symptom of retinal arteriosclerosis broadly : something that indicates the presence of a physical disorder — compare sign sense 2

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Comments on symptom

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