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

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

Griffin — a 6-foot, 227-pound rookie linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks — was born with amniotic band syndrome, a congenital disorder that disrupted the development of the fingers on his left hand. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin keeps telling his story so that kids like these can tell theirs," 21 Nov. 2018 According to Newsflare, Santana has Usher syndrome, which is caused by an abnormal development of hair and sensory cells that affects a person’s ability to see and hear, and also causes difficulties in maintaining balance. Jason Duaine Hahn,, "Blind and Deaf Soccer Fan Celebrates Team's World Cup Victory with Help from Interpreter," 28 June 2018 His left hand was amputated at age 4, the result of a congenital condition called amniotic band syndrome, which had stunted the development of the appendage and caused excruciating pain. Jenny Vrentas,, "Shaquem Griffin’s NFL Story Begins Now," 29 Apr. 2018 Griffin had his left hand amputated at age 4, after being born with amniotic band syndrome, which prevented his hand from fully forming, the New York Post reported. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "Seattle Seahawks draft one-handed linebacker in the 5th round," 28 Apr. 2018 Fans in Orlando are familiar with it – how Griffin was born with a rare condition known as amniotic band syndrome which prevented his fingers from growing properly. David Whitley,, "UCF's Shaquem Griffin wows 'em on NBC's 'Today' show," 23 Apr. 2018 Griffin was born with amniotic band syndrome, a congenital condition that caused him to lose his left hand at age 4. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "If Carolina Panthers draft Shaquem Griffin, he could be more than just a great story | Charlotte Observer," 5 Mar. 2018 Psychiatrists will tell you there is no cure for either narcissistic personality disorder or Trump derangement syndrome. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Trump at the Turn," 2 Jan. 2019 Lemierre syndrome is a severe infection usually caused by a specific type of bacteria. Korin Miller, SELF, "A 23-Year-Old College Student Died From Lemierre Syndrome, a Rare Infection She Thought Was Tonsillitis," 6 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for syndrome

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for syndrome

The first known use of syndrome was in 1541

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More Definitions for syndrome



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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More from Merriam-Webster on syndrome

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with syndrome

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for syndrome

Spanish Central: Translation of syndrome

Nglish: Translation of syndrome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of syndrome for Arabic Speakers

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