syn·​drome | \ ˈsin-ˌdrōm also -drəm How to pronounce syndrome (audio) \

Definition of syndrome

1 : a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition
2 : a set of concurrent things (such as emotions or actions) that usually form an identifiable pattern

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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 Some studies have shown a link between atrial fibrillation and anger or post traumatic stress syndrome. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Burnout linked to potentially deadly irregular heartbeat, study says," 13 Jan. 2020 The lawsuits over the children who suffer from neonatal abstinence syndrome are mostly being heard in federal court. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Lawyers for babies born after opioid exposure want Cleveland judge to approve class action against drug companies," 9 Jan. 2020 Child trauma expert Ryan Matlow at Stanford University says toxic stress in children is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome, heart disease, cancer, and even early death. Fortune, "Migrant Children Held This Year by U.S. Nears a Record 70,000," 12 Nov. 2019 Since becoming legal as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in 2016, post-traumatic stress syndrome has become by far the most common condition cited by patients. Robert Mccoppin,, "Medical marijuana popularity surging in Illinois as revisions in law allow greater access for patients," 18 Oct. 2019 Julia Mejia has, like many successful women, often harbored a bruising case of imposter syndrome. Stephanie Ebbert,, "How Julia Mejia found her voice," 13 Jan. 2020 With a diet of six to eight chocolate bars a day, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese, Perdue was 308 lbs. by age 29, and was pre-diabetic, had sleep apnea and a mild form of polycycstic ovary syndrome. People Staff,, "Get Inspired by These Incredible Weight Loss Transformations," 30 Dec. 2019 The idea of domestication syndrome, said Dr. Larson, has been appealing but not thoroughly examined. James Gorman, New York Times, "Why Are These Foxes Tame? Maybe They Weren’t So Wild to Begin With," 3 Dec. 2019 But reckoning averted is merely reckoning delayed, for Germany is now in the grip of post-Merkel syndrome. The Economist, "Post-Merkel syndrome," 28 Nov. 2019

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

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for syndrome

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

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Time Traveler for syndrome

Time Traveler

The first known use of syndrome was in 1541

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Statistics for syndrome

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Syndrome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for syndrome


How to pronounce syndrome (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of syndrome

: a disease or disorder that involves a particular group of signs and symptoms


syn·​drome | \ ˈsin-ˌdrōm also -drəm \

Medical Definition of syndrome

: a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality

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