as in manifestation
something that indicates the presence of something else (such as a disease or problem) A sore throat, a runny nose, and frequent sneezing are some of the symptoms of the common cold. Homelessness is only a symptom of larger problems in our society.

Synonyms & Similar Words


Synonym Chooser

How is the word symptom distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of symptom are mark, note, sign, and token. While all these words mean "a discernible indication of what is not itself directly perceptible," symptom suggests an outward indication of an internal change or condition.

rampant crime is a symptom of that city's decay

Where would mark be a reasonable alternative to symptom?

While in some cases nearly identical to symptom, mark suggests something impressed on or inherently characteristic of a thing often in contrast to general outward appearance.

a mark of a good upbringing

When is note a more appropriate choice than symptom?

The words note and symptom are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, note suggests a distinguishing mark or characteristic.

a note of irony in her writing

In what contexts can sign take the place of symptom?

Although the words sign and symptom have much in common, sign applies to any indication to be perceived by the senses or the reason.

encouraging signs for the economy

When could token be used to replace symptom?

In some situations, the words token and symptom are roughly equivalent. However, token applies to something that serves as a proof of something intangible.

this gift is a token of our esteem

Thesaurus Entries Near symptom

Cite this Entry

“Symptom.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on symptom

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