path-, patho-, -path-, -pathia, -pathic, -pathology, -pathetic, -pathize, -pathy

(Greek: feeling, sensation, perception; suffering, disease, or disorder; a system of treating diseases)

In medicine, some of these elements usually mean "someone who suffers from a disease of, or one who treats a disease"; so, they should not be confused with the words that mean "feeling" which are also shown on these pages even though both meanings come from the same Greek element.

pathogen (s) (noun), pathogens (pl)
Any disease-producing micro-organism, such as a bacteria or a virus: During the past winter many people were affected by a pathogen resulting in very bad colds or the flu, and even those who had their doctors give them flu vaccinations came down with bad cases of influenza!

Pathogens proceed to establish themselves, multiply, and produce various symptoms in their hosts.

Any micro-organism or virus which can cause an illness.
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pathogenesis (s) (noun), pathogeneses (pl)
The origin and developmental course of a disease or mental disorder: When Susan asked the doctor how she got the measles, she asked about the pathogenesis of that illness which was caused by a virus accompanied or succeeded by a high fever and red spots all over her body.
pathogenetic (adjective) (not comparable)
Concerning the cause and progress of a disease: Much more pathogenetic research needs to be done in order to find a cure for macula degeneration.
pathogenic (adjective), more pathogenic, most pathogenic
Relating to the ability to trigger harmful illnesses: Some people in the bus were coughing and sneezing, and the pathogenic bacteria and viruses were spreading rapidly causing a lot of people getting the flu or severe colds.
pathogenicity (s) (noun), pathogenicities (pl)
The capacity of a micro-organism to cause a disease: Pathogenicity can be described as how bacteria or viruses can quickly create an infection and can circulate rapidly among people.
pathogenous (adjective), more pathogenous, most pathogenous
Referring to something that causes an ailment or sickness; pathogenic: Pathogenous bacteria were found in the jars of jam that were on the shelves in the village store, but the jars were removed quickly before anyone got sick.
pathogeny (s) (noun), pathogenies (pl)
The development of morbid conditions or of a disease: The pathogenies of some illnesses and infections are still being researched, especially in order to find cures for them.
pathognomic, pathognomonic (adjective); more pathognomic, most pathognomic; more pathognomonic, most pathognomonic
1. A reference to the capacity for recognizing emotions and human passions: Pathognomic feelings, like excitement or pain, can be noticed in a person's face.
2. Relating to the science of the signs and symptoms of diseases: When the doctor examined Judy, he noticed the typical pathognomic indications that pointed to a particular disease that was circulating among children in the area.

Such distinctive visual and pathognomonic clues can indicate a certain illness on which a diagnosis can be made.

pathognomy (s) (noun), pathognomies (pl)
1. The study of the symptoms or characteristics of a disease: Research in the area of pathognomy was in progress to find out the indications, features, and properties of disorders, infections, and illnesses.
2. The science of the signs by which human passions are indicated: Pathognomy includes the outward expression of a person's feelings.

Pathognomy is the study of passions and emotions. It refers to the expression of emotions that are indicated in the voice, gestures, and by features.

While physiognomy is used to predict the overall character of an individual, pathognomy is used to gain clues about the current character.

Physiognomy is based on shapes of the features, and pathognomy on the motions of the features.

pathograph (s) (noun), pathographs (pl)
A written description of a disease: Professor Jameson asked his students to prepare a detailed pathograph about an illness of their choice for the following day.
pathographic (adjective) (not comparable)
A reference to a written description of a disease: The pathographic biography of the elderly Mrs. Thompson highlighted the unfavourable or negative issues in her life.
pathography (s) (noun), pathographies (pl)
A history or description of a person's diseases: The pathography of Mark's grandfather was a biography of his misfortunes, illnesses, and failures in life.

A pathography can also be an individual's sensational biography or one containing the morbid ailments.

pathological absorption (s) (noun), pathological absorptions (pl)
The soaking up of a substance usually excreted: Pathological absorption refers to, for example, urine or a product of disease processes, such as pus, that is sucked up into the blood or lymph.
pathological anthropology (s) (noun) (no pl)
The study of diseases in humans from the viewpoint of its differential distribution among groups of people: Ever since Jack was in college, he was always interested in different cultures and various illnesses over the world, and so he decided to go into the field of pathological anthropology and do research after finishing his education.
pathological, pathologic (adjective); more pathological, most pathological; more pathologic, most pathologic
1. Concerning a person who is extreme in a way which is not normal or that indicates an illness or a mental problem: Sam's cousin is known to be a pathological gambler who is more interested in going to casinos as often as possible instead of staying home with his wife and children.

Mark's little boy had developed the tendency to be a pathological liar who could not be trusted to tell the truth about anything.

2. Relating to a disease: Sue has a pathologic condition that requires medical attention.
3. A reference to the study of diseases: Dr. Smith was involved in the diagnosis of the pathological epidemic that had spread in so many African countries.
A disease or a compulsive habit of tell lies.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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Quiz You can find self-scoring quizzes over many of the words in this subject area by going to this Vocabulary Quizzes page.