Save This Word!

a combining form occurring in adjectives that correspond to nouns ending in -pathy: psychopathic.
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Origin of -pathic

From New Latin; see origin at -pathy, -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -pathic mean?

The combining form -pathic is used like a suffix to denote an adjective related to nouns that end in -pathy, which can mean variously “disease,” “suffering,” or “treatment of disease.” The form -pathic is specifically used to mean “diseased.” It is often used in medical terms, especially in pathology.

The form -pathic ultimately comes from Greek pátheia, meaning “suffering” or “feeling.” The form is combined with the suffix -ic, from Latin -icus, which is used to denote an adjective.

What are variants of -pathic?

While -path doesn’t have any immediate variants, it is closely related to three other combining forms, -path, -pathia, and -pathy. Want to know more? Check out our Words That Use entries for all three forms.

Examples of -pathic

One example of a term that you may be familiar with that features the form -pathic is sociopathic, “having the traits of or relating to a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.”

The form socio- has a variety of meanings, including “social” and “society.” The form -pathic roughly means “diseased,” so sociopathic literally means “socially diseased.”

What are some words that use the combining form -pathic?

What are some other forms that -pathic may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form cyto- means “cell.” With this in mind, what does the pathological term cytopathic refer to?

How to use -pathic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for -pathic

/ (ˈpæθɪk) /

a catamite
a person who suffers; victim
of or relating to a catamite
of or relating to suffering

Word Origin for pathic

C17: via Latin from Greek pathikos passive; see pathos
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