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).

Words nearby -pathy

Compare -path, -pathia.

Origin of -pathy

combining form representing Greek pátheia suffering, feeling, equivalent to páth(os) pathos + -eia -y3
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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 of -pathy

-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

Medical 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.