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[dahy-uh g-noh-sis] /ˌdaɪ əgˈnoʊ sɪs/
noun, plural diagnoses
[dahy-uh g-noh-seez] /ˌdaɪ əgˈnoʊ siz/ (Show IPA)
  1. the process of determining by examination the nature and circumstances of a diseased condition.
  2. the decision reached from such an examination.
    Abbreviation: Dx.
Biology. scientific determination; a description that classifies a group or taxon precisely.
a determining or analysis of the cause or nature of a problem or situation.
an answer or solution to a problematic situation.
Origin of diagnosis
1675-85; < New Latin < Greek diágnōsis a distinguishing. See dia-, -gnosis
Related forms
prediagnosis, noun, plural prediagnoses.
Can be confused
diagnosis, prognosis. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for diagnosis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How much better the diagnosis of Madame Dacier, who is quoted by Lessing!

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus Wilton Wallace Blancke
  • He liked to have all the symptoms before he made a diagnosis or ventured an opinion.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • He seemed always to be making a diagnosis of the souls of men.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • Bill grunted his disagreement with the diagnosis, and lapsed into silence.

    White Fang Jack London
  • In later conversations he told me the diagnosis of the disease had been correct.

British Dictionary definitions for diagnosis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
  1. the identification of diseases by the examination of symptoms and signs and by other investigations
  2. an opinion or conclusion so reached
  1. thorough analysis of facts or problems in order to gain understanding and aid future planning
  2. an opinion or conclusion reached through such analysis
a detailed description of an organism, esp a plant, for the purpose of classification
Word Origin
C17: New Latin, from Greek: a distinguishing, from diagignōskein to distinguish, from gignōskein to perceive, know
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for diagnosis

1680s, medical Latin application of Greek diagnosis "a discerning, distinguishing," from stem of diagignoskein "discern, distinguish," literally "to know thoroughly," from dia- "apart" (see dia-) + gignoskein "to learn" (see gnostic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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diagnosis in Medicine

diagnosis di·ag·no·sis (dī'əg-nō'sĭs)
n. pl. di·ag·no·ses (-sēz)

  1. The act or process of identifying or determining the nature and cause of a disease or injury through evaluation of patient history, examination, and review of laboratory data.

  2. The opinion derived from such an evaluation.

  3. A brief description of the distinguishing characteristics of an organism, as for taxonomic classification.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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diagnosis in Science
Plural diagnoses (dī'əg-nō'sēz)
The identification by a medical provider of a condition, disease, or injury made by evaluating the symptoms and signs presented by a patient.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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