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

While the cause remains unknown, patients reported similar symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath or chest pain; nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; fatigue, fever or abdominal pain. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Vaping lung illness spreads to 36 states, now blamed for 6 deaths," 16 Sep. 2019 Extracted from the root of a plant native to West Africa, the drug produces psychedelic effects akin to a waking dream and is said by its advocates to spirit away withdrawal symptoms with a single dose, leaving users sober and uninterested in smack. Wired, "A Detox Drug Promises Miracles—If It Doesn't Kill You First," 15 Sep. 2019 After symptoms emerge, patients typically die within 1 to 12 days. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Lily Avant, 10, contracted a 'brain-eating' amoeba after swimming in a Texas river. Now she's fighting for her life," 15 Sep. 2019 Those given lower doses exhibited similar symptoms, including weight loss, lethargy and a lack of interest in food. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Common Pesticides Delay Songbird Migration, Trigger Significant Weight Loss," 14 Sep. 2019 This episode is considered less severe based on symptoms. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers’ Rich Hill scheduled for MRI exam on injured knee Monday," 13 Sep. 2019 Wild animals may act friendly and pets can act aggressive Other symptoms, including paralysis of the throat and jaw causing drooling and seizures, are common according to the Maryland Department of Health’s Rabies Fact Sheet. Iris Katz, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Pet Wise: Rabies represents a continued threat in Carroll County, even in 2019," 13 Sep. 2019 It’s unclear if Darnold was suffering from symptoms when the Jets lost to the Bills, 17-16, on Sunday. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com, "Freddie Kitchens says Jets’ Sam Darnold being out for Browns game 'won’t affect how we prepare’," 12 Sep. 2019 During the summer months, the Pakistani airwaves are full of public-service announcements warning residents about the dangers of heat, symptoms of heat exhaustion, and how to take precautions. Aryn Baker, Time, "What It’s Like Living in One of the Hottest Cities on Earth—Where It May Soon Be Uninhabitable," 12 Sep. 2019

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

19 Sep 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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