Pathology is the medical term for the way a disease works. A tumor is removed by a doctor trained in surgery, but you need a doctor trained in pathology to tell you if the tumor is cancer.

Pathology derives from the Greek pathos "suffering" and ology "study of"––to give us "the study of disease," but often pathology means the disease's behavior––the cancer pathology is to take over healthy cells and grow cancerous tumors. We also use pathology to describe abnormal conditions that aren’t really diseases, like the pathology of Hollywood stars who live their lives in public and become obsessed with fitness.

Definitions of pathology
  1. noun
    the branch of medical science that studies the causes and nature and effects of diseases
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    palaeopathology, paleopathology
    the study of disease of former times (as inferred from fossil evidence)
    type of:
    medical science
    the science of dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease
  2. noun
    any deviation from a healthy or normal condition
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    abnormally high acidity (excess hydrogen-ion concentration) of the blood and other body tissues
    abnormally high alkalinity (low hydrogen-ion concentration) of the blood and other body tissues
    anchylosis, ankylosis
    abnormal adhesion and rigidity of the bones of a joint
    arteriectasia, arteriectasis
    an abnormal distension of an artery
    a pathology or abnormality of a joint
    asynergia, asynergy
    absence of coordination of organs or body parts that usually work together harmoniously
    asystole, cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary arrest
    absence of systole; failure of the ventricles of the heart to contract (usually caused by ventricular fibrillation) with consequent absence of the heart beat leading to oxygen lack and eventually to death
    presence of multiple diverticula in the walls of the colon
    excessive discharge of liquid from a cavity or organ (as in watery diarrhea)
    a pathological condition resulting from an excessive intake of fluorine (usually from drinking water)
    a disturbance in the synthesis of immunoglobulins; proteins having antibody activity increase greatly in the blood
    repetitive nonmeaningful speech (especially that associated with a trance state or religious fervor)
    any disease of the blood vessels or lymph ducts
    loss of the ability to swallow
    stenosis, stricture
    abnormal narrowing of a bodily canal or passageway
    the formation of atheromas on the walls of the arteries as in atherosclerosis
    accumulation of serous fluid in peritoneal cavity
    absence of an enzyme
    bacteremia, bacteriaemia, bacteriemia
    transient presence of bacteria (or other microorganisms) in the blood
    induration, sclerosis
    any pathological hardening or thickening of tissue
    pathology in which fat accumulates in lipomas in the body
    the formation of stones (calculi) in an internal organ
    abnormal formation of cartilage from other tissues; observed in some Asians
    a closed sac that develops abnormally in some body structure
    adenomyosis, endometriosis
    the presence of endometrium elsewhere than in the lining of the uterus; causes premenstrual pain and dysmenorrhea
    abnormal union of bodily tissues; most common in the abdomen
    bronzed diabetes, hemochromatosis, iron overload, iron-storage disease
    pathology in which iron accumulates in the tissues; characterized by bronzed skin and enlarged liver and diabetes mellitus and abnormalities of the pancreas and the joints
    infarct, infarction
    localized necrosis resulting from obstruction of the blood supply
    the presence of macrocytes in the blood
    development of excess fibrous connective tissue in an organ
    a state of abnormal softening of tissue
    mastopathy, mazopathy
    any pathology of the breast
    any pathology of the peripheral nerves
    any pathology of the muscles that is not attributable to nerve dysfunction
    abnormal loss of bony tissue resulting in fragile porous bones attributable to a lack of calcium; most common in postmenopausal women
    condition in which the penis is continually erect; usually painful and seldom with sexual arousal
    demineralisation, demineralization
    abnormal loss of mineral salts (especially from bone)
    pyorrhea, pyorrhoea
    discharge of pus
    azotaemia, azotemia, uraemia, uremia
    accumulation in the blood of nitrogenous waste products (urea) that are usually excreted in the urine
    excess of urea in the urine
    any localized abnormal structural change in a bodily part
    chronic abnormal enlargement of the lymph nodes (usually associated with disease)
    gangrene, slough, sphacelus
    necrotic tissue; a mortified or gangrenous part or mass
    abnormally high amounts of bile pigment (bilirubin) in the blood
    a pathological condition in which a word is rapidly and involuntarily repeated
    an abnormal backward flow of body fluids
    discharge from the external ear
    any disease or malformation of the nose
    accumulation of urine in the kidney because of an obstruction in the ureter
    collapse of an expanded lung (especially in infants); also failure of pulmonary alveoli to expand at birth
    abnormally low oxygen content in arterial blood
    an uncontrollable use of obscene language; often accompanied by mental disorders
    production of antibodies against the tissues of your own body; produces autoimmune disease or hypersensitivity reactions
    disfunction, dysfunction
    (medicine) any disturbance in the functioning of an organ or body part or a disturbance in the functioning of a social group
    a chronic disease of unknown cause marked by the formation of nodules in the lungs and liver and lymph glands and salivary glands
    carotenemia, xanthemia
    excess carotene in the blood stream; can cause the skin to turn a pale yellow or red color
    an abnormal state in which the normal flow of a liquid (such as blood) is slowed or stopped
    any pathology of the urinary tract
    pathological condition of being varicose or having varicose veins
    viraemia, viremia
    the presence of a virus in the blood stream
    abnormal twisting of the intestines (usually in the area of the ileum or sigmoid colon) resulting in intestinal obstruction
    diabetic acidosis, ketoacidosis
    acidosis with an accumulation of ketone bodies; occurs primarily in diabetes mellitus
    metabolic acidosis
    acidosis and bicarbonate concentration in the body fluids resulting either from the accumulation of acids or the abnormal loss of bases from the body (as in diarrhea or renal disease)
    carbon dioxide acidosis, respiratory acidosis
    acidosis resulting from reduced gas exchange in the lungs (as in emphysema or pneumonia); excess carbon dioxide combines with water to form carbonic acid which increases the acidity of the blood
    starvation acidosis
    acidosis in which the acidity results from lack of food which leads to fat catabolism which in turn releases acidic ketone bodies
    metabolic alkalosis
    alkalosis resulting from hydrogen-ion loss or excessive intake of alkaline substances
    respiratory alkalosis
    alkalosis resulting from increased gas exchange in the lungs (as in hyperventilation associated with extreme anxiety or aspirin intoxication or metabolic acidosis)
    ED, erectile dysfunction, male erecticle dysfunction
    impotence resulting from a man's inability to have or maintain an erection of his penis
    MS, disseminated multiple sclerosis, disseminated sclerosis, multiple sclerosis
    a chronic progressive nervous disorder involving loss of myelin sheath around certain nerve fibers
    ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    thickening of tissue in the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord; results in progressive muscle atrophy that starts in the limbs
    aortic stenosis
    abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve
    abnormal narrowing of the intestine
    abnormal narrowing of the larynx
    pulmonary stenosis
    abnormal narrowing of the opening into the pulmonary artery from the right ventricle
    pyloric stenosis
    narrowing of the pyloric sphincter that blocks the passage of food from the stomach into the duodenum
    narrowing of the passages in the nasal cavities
    sclerosis of the arterioles
    arterial sclerosis, arteriosclerosis, coronary-artery disease, hardening of the arteries, induration of the arteries
    sclerosis of the arterial walls
    mitral stenosis, mitral valve stenosis
    obstruction or narrowing of the mitral valve (as by scarring from rheumatic fever)
    MI, myocardial infarct, myocardial infarction
    destruction of heart tissue resulting from obstruction of the blood supply to the heart muscle
    kidney disease, nephropathy, nephrosis, renal disorder
    a disease affecting the kidneys
    the presence of gallstones in the gallbladder
    the presence of calculi in the intestines
    nephrolithiasis, renal lithiasis
    the presence of kidney stones (calculi) in the kidney
    CF, cystic fibrosis, fibrocystic disease of the pancreas, mucoviscidosis, pancreatic fibrosis
    the most common congenital disease; the child's lungs and intestines and pancreas become clogged with thick mucus; caused by defect in a single gene; no cure is known
    abnormal hardening or eburnation of bone
    dermoid cyst
    a cystic tumor (usually benign) with a wall lined with epithelium and a cavity containing other material
    a cystic tumor containing milk or a milky substance (especially in the mammary glands)
    blood cyst, hematocyst, hemorrhagic cyst
    a cyst containing blood
    cyst filled with liquid; forms as a result of infestation by tapeworm larvae (as in echinococcosis)
    nabothian cyst, nabothian follicle
    a cyst that forms in the nabothian glands of the uterine cervix
    ovarian cyst
    a cystic tumor (usually benign) of the ovary
    a cyst on the underside of the tongue
    pilar cyst, sebaceous cyst, steatocystoma, wen
    a common cyst of the skin; filled with fatty matter (sebum) that is secreted by a sebaceous gland that has been blocked
    an abnormal adhesion of two or more structures
    adhesions between the iris and the lens or cornea resulting from trauma or eye surgery or as a complication of glaucoma or cataract; can lead to blindness
    classic hemochromatosis, idiopathic hemochromatosis
    inherited form of hemochromatosis
    acquired hemochromatosis
    hemochromatosis resulting from repeated transfusions or from excessive intake of foods containing iron
    fibrosis of the bone marrow
    abnormal softening of bones caused by deficiencies of phosphorus or calcium or vitamin D
    Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy
    a form of neuropathy that can begin between childhood and young adulthood; characterized by weakness and atrophy of the muscles of the hands and lower legs; progression is slow and individuals affected can have a normal life span; inheritance is X-linked recessive or X-linked dominant
    any neuropathy of a single nerve trunk
    multiple mononeuropathy
    pathology of several individual nerve trunks
    a swelling that is the characteristic lesion of tuberculosis
    ulcer, ulceration
    a circumscribed inflammatory and often suppurating lesion on the skin or an internal mucous surface resulting in necrosis of tissue
    a tumor consisting of a mass of blood or lymphatic vessels
    inflammation of a blood vessel or lymph duct
    cold gangrene, dry gangrene, mumification necrosis, mummification
    (pathology) gangrene that develops in the presence of arterial obstruction and is characterized by dryness of the dead tissue and a dark brown color
    clostridial myonecrosis, emphysematous gangrene, emphysematous phlegmon, gangrenous emphysema, gas gangrene, gas phlegmon, progressive emphysematous necrosis
    (pathology) a deadly form of gangrene usually caused by clostridium bacteria that produce toxins that cause tissue death; can be used as a bioweapon
    hyperbilirubinemia of the newborn, neonatal hyperbilirubinemia
    a common disorder that is usually due to immaturity of the liver; usually subsides spontaneously
    esophageal reflux, gastroesophageal reflux, oesophageal reflux
    reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus
    hepatojugular reflux
    a venous reflux occurring in congestive heart failure
    ureterorenal reflux
    a backflow of urine from the ureter into the renal pelvis
    vesicoureteral reflux
    a backflow of urine from the bladder into the ureter
    brandy nose, copper nose, hammer nose, hypertrophic rosacea, potato nose, rhinophyma, rum nose, rum-blossom, toper's nose
    enlargement of the nose with dilation of follicles and redness and prominent vascularity of the skin; often associated with excessive consumption of alcohol
    dowager's hump
    abnormal spinal curvature that results when osteoporosis causes the spine to collapse; seen most often in elderly women
    palsy, paralysis
    loss of the ability to move a body part
    fungal infection of the nose; often acquired while swimming
    stenosis of the ureter
    type of:
    health problem, ill health, unhealthiness
    a state in which you are unable to function normally and without pain
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