View synonyms for diagnose


[ dahy-uhg-nohs, -nohz, dahy-uhg-nohs, -nohz ]

verb (used with object)

, di·ag·nosed, di·ag·nos·ing.
  1. to determine the identity of (a disease, illness, etc.) by a medical examination:

    The doctor diagnosed the illness as influenza.

  2. to ascertain the cause or nature of (a disorder, malfunction, problem, etc.) from the symptoms:

    The mechanic diagnosed the trouble that caused the engine knock.

  3. to classify or determine on the basis of scientific examination.

verb (used without object)

, di·ag·nosed, di·ag·nos·ing.
  1. to make a diagnosis.


/ ˈdaɪəɡˌnəʊz /


  1. to determine or distinguish by diagnosis
  2. tr to examine (a person or thing), as for a disease

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Derived Forms

  • ˌdiagˈnosable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • diag·nosa·ble adjective
  • under·diag·nose verb (used with object) underdiagnosed underdiagnosing
  • undi·ag·nosa·ble adjective
  • un·diag·nosed adjective
  • well-diag·nosed adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of diagnose1

First recorded in 1860–65; back formation from diagnosis

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Example Sentences

Levin can at least diagnose the problem and recognize that this leads to an evacuation of traditional politics.

He was flying to a foreign country to visit gravely ill patients suffering from a disease he could no more diagnose than treat.

When Smith was asked how he could diagnose Obama, he admitted he is not a psychologist and was just speculating.

Students study the hands to diagnose medical conditions, with the aid of technology of course.

I felt relieved for the character, and slightly abashed for rushing to diagnose her with a mental illness.

If I diagnose or treat the fixed idea of a psychasthenic, the psychological factor itself represents the disturbance.

He could not diagnose her ailment; for who would have suspected that a young, beautiful, and rich woman was resolved to die?

The electrician soon learns to diagnose and prescribe for this, his most valuable charge.

It is for the teacher to correctly diagnose the case and administer the most efficient remedy.

Like doctors, we have to diagnose from circumstances—and even the greatest doctors are wrong at times.