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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Fortunately, there are a few easy steps to preventing and curing the seasonal syndrome. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "How to Prevent Red, Blotchy Winter Skin That Looks Like a Rorschach Test," 26 Nov. 2018 At professional meetings, Dr. Pritchard has suggested calling the syndrome something more inclusive. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "The Genetic Test Some Men Don’t Know They Need," 7 Aug. 2018 According to the Mayo Clinic, the syndrome's exact cause is unknown. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Arizona student paralyzed, stuck in Spain," 12 June 2018 Like other convertibles, the C930 suffers from huge-chin syndrome featuring a one-inch-wide bezel underneath its display while the side and top bezels are mere slivers of black. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Lenovo Yoga C930 2-in-1 review: Hidden features in all the right places," 26 Oct. 2018 Preliminary results from a Mayo Clinic study showed that CBD diminshes seizures in children with a disorder called Dravet syndrome by 39 percent, versus 16 percent in patients who received a placebo. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "I Hacked My Body So You Don't Have To," 25 June 2018 The comedian, who suffers from Tourette syndrome, has shown his face on television screens before. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Where Have I Seen That 'America's Got Talent' Contestant Before? Us The Duo & Courtney Hadwin Among Previously Known Acts," 14 June 2018 This does not mean that scientists believe that the suffering of the people who claim to have this syndrome is not real. Rafal Tokarz,, "The Lyme Disease Complication You Don't Know About—But Should," 31 May 2018 Stephanie is battling cancer from Lynch syndrome, a genetic condition that increases the risk of several types of cancer. David Williams, CNN, "A mom with terminal cancer sees her son graduate in a special hospital ceremony," 11 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about syndrome

Statistics for syndrome

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for syndrome

The first known use of syndrome was in 1541

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on syndrome

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with syndrome

Spanish Central: Translation of syndrome

Nglish: Translation of syndrome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of syndrome for Arabic Speakers

Comments on syndrome

What made you want to look up syndrome? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!