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

Ironically, white-nose syndrome’s arrival in California comes at a time when local naturalists are taking increasing notice of the chocolate-brown, mouse-size insectivores. Louis Sahagun,, "A deadly fungus is killing millions of bats in the US. Now it’s in California," 5 July 2019 There’s a name for that feeling: imposter syndrome. NBC News, "#RAWtalk: How to overcome imposter syndrome," 1 July 2019 Kathryn Hahn is giving new meaning to empty nest syndrome. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Watch Kathryn Hahn give in to her darkest fantasies in HBO's Mrs. Fletcher trailer," 29 June 2019 The new definition calls burnout syndrome the results of chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Gwen Moran, Fortune, "As Workplace Burnout Gets More Attention, Could More Tech Actually Be the Answer?," 27 June 2019 Dorton, a personal trainer, was inspired to establish the nonprofit organization to assist with treatment for others who have suffered post-concussion syndrome. Alex Kushel,, "Sports-related concussion survivor calls for change in treatment," 20 June 2019 Acute encephalitis syndrome has spread across a few districts in India, focused in pockets in the poorer states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, which also have some of the country's hottest summers. Swati Gupta, CNN, "Child death toll from brain disease crosses 100 in India as parents protest," 18 June 2019 Like one of his coaching mentors, Gregg Popovich, figured out over the past couple of years, continuing to dwell on the absence of a star player eventually becomes counterproductive, and perhaps the Warriors have fallen victim to that syndrome. Mike Finger,, "As Warriors go haywire, Kerr turns to inner Pop," 7 June 2019 Logging the flow strength and accompanying symptoms can also be a clue into certain health conditions that affect your cycle, such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Cory Stieg,, "The Apple Watch Can Now Track Your Period," 4 June 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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Statistics for syndrome

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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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

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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