syn·​drome ˈsin-ˌdrōm How to pronounce syndrome (audio)
-drəm How to pronounce syndrome (audio)
: a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition
: a set of concurrent things (such as emotions or actions) that usually form an identifiable pattern

Did you know?

Combining its two Greek roots, syndrome means basically "running together". So when diagnosing a condition or disease, doctors tend to look for a group of symptoms existing together. As long as a set of symptoms remains mysterious, it may be referred to as a specific syndrome. But if that name is used for a while, it may become the condition's permanent name, even after an underlying cause has been found. So today we have Down syndrome, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Asperger's syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, sick building syndrome, and many more. And since mental conditions often turn out to have physical causes, syndrome is used in psychology as well as in medicine.

Examples of syndrome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This condition is called flat head syndrome or positional plagiocephaly. Maria Carter, Parents, 16 Nov. 2023 There’s also the potential for cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a condition that causes recurrent vomiting in heavy marijuana users. Christina Caron, New York Times, 16 Nov. 2023 Most inhabitants of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota would get average doses greater than 1 Gy, causing fatalities from acute radiation syndrome, especially among children. Sébastien Philippe, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2023 Her son, who was born in 1996 and died six days after his birth, had been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Pfeiffer syndrome, in which certain bones of the skull fuse prematurely. Gillian Telling, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2023 Cody was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a genetic disorder that can leave a person without the ability to walk or communicate. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2023 According to Casey Trees, the changes could have negative effects on endangered species that live in Rock Creek Park’s forests, including long-eared and Indiana bats whose populations have been damaged by the fungal white-nose syndrome. Joe Heim, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2023 Katz had a heart condition called long QT syndrome type 1 and avoided energy drinks at the recommendation of her doctors, according to the filing. Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, 23 Oct. 2023 No one knows what causes Havana syndrome, and treatment seems to be focused on the symptoms and not Havana syndrome itself. Korin Miller, Health, 10 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


New Latin, from Greek syndromē combination, syndrome, from syn- + dramein to run — more at dromedary

First Known Use

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of syndrome was in 1541

Dictionary Entries Near syndrome

Cite this Entry

“Syndrome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


syn·​drome ˈsin-ˌdrōm How to pronounce syndrome (audio)
: a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition

Medical Definition


ˈsin-ˌdrōm also -drəm
: a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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