• synonyms


a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “suffering,” “feeling” (antipathy; sympathy); in compound words of modern formation, often used with the meaning “morbid affection,” “disease” (arthropathy; deuteropathy; neuropathy; psychopathy), and hence used also in names of systems or methods of treating disease (allopathy; homeopathy; hydropathy; osteopathy).

Nearby words

-parous, -pated, -path, -pathia, -pathic, -pathy, -ped, -pede, -penia, -person, -petal
Compare -path, -pathia.

Origin of -pathy

combining form representing Greek pátheia suffering, feeling, equivalent to páth(os) pathos + -eia -y3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for -pathy


n combining form

indicating feeling, sensitivity, or perceptiontelepathy
indicating disease or a morbid conditionpsychopathy
indicating a method of treating diseaseosteopathy
Derived Forms-pathic, adj combining form

Word Origin for -pathy

from Greek patheia suffering; 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

Word Origin and History for -pathy


word-forming element meaning "feeling, suffering, emotion; disorder, disease," from Latin -pathia, from Greek -patheia "act of suffering, feeling" (see pathos). Meaning "system of treatment of disease" is abstracted from homeopathy (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for -pathy



A system of treating disease:homeopathy.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.