• synonyms


[ep-uh-fuh-nom-uh-non, -nuh n]
noun, plural ep·i·phe·nom·e·na [ep-uh-fuh-nom-uh-nuh] /ˌɛp ə fəˈnɒm ə nə/, ep·i·phe·nom·e·nons.
  1. Pathology. a secondary or additional symptom or complication arising during the course of a disease.
  2. any secondary phenomenon.
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Origin of epiphenomenon

First recorded in 1700–10; epi- + phenomenon
Related formsep·i·phe·nom·e·nal, adjectiveep·i·phe·nom·e·nal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for epiphenomenal

Historical Examples

  • This is the thesis of the epiphenomenal consciousness which Huxley has boldly carried to its uttermost conclusions.

    The Mind and the Brain

    Alfred Binet

British Dictionary definitions for epiphenomenal


noun plural -na (-nə)
  1. a secondary or additional phenomenon; by-product
  2. pathol an unexpected or atypical symptom or occurrence during the course of a disease
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Derived Formsepiphenomenal, adjectiveepiphenomenally, adverb
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 epiphenomenal



1706, "secondary symptom," from epi- + phenomenon. Plural is epiphenomena. Related: Epiphenomenal.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

epiphenomenal in Medicine


  1. An additional condition or symptom in the course of a disease, not necessarily connected with the disease.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.