or ae路ti路ol路o路gy

[ ee-tee-ol-uh-jee ]
/ 藢i ti藞蓲l 蓹 d蕭i /
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noun, plural e路ti路ol路o路gies.
  1. the study of the causes of diseases.
  2. the cause or origin of a disease.
the study of causation.
any study of causes, causation, or causality, as in philosophy, biology, or physics.
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Origin of etiology

1545鈥55; <Latin aetiologia<Greek aitiolog铆a determining the cause of something, equivalent to ait铆(a) cause + -o--o- + -logia-logy


e路ti路ol路o路gist, noun

Words nearby etiology

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does聽etiology mean?

The etiology of a disease is its cause or origin.

Etiology is also the name for the study of the causes of diseases. It can also refer to the study of the cause of things in other fields, such as philosophy and physics. But it is most commonly used in the context of medicine. In British English, it is spelled aetiology.

Example: The doctors have taken some samples and are working to determine the etiology of the disease.

Where does聽etiology come from?

The first records of etiology in English come from the mid-1500s. Etiology derives from the Greek aitiolog铆a, meaning “determining the cause of something.鈥 This is formed from ait铆a, 鈥渃ause,鈥 and –logia, which is the basis of -logy, which indicates the study of something.

In medicine, etiology involves studying the factors that cause a disease. This is done for individual patients to determine how they became sick and to diagnose their illness. But it is also done on a broader scale to determine the origin of diseases. Epidemiologists study how diseases spread throughout large populations and try to detect the source and cause of epidemics.

When a cause of a disease is determined, this is called its etiology. For example, the etiology of cholera is known to be a bacterium that contaminates food and drinking water in places with poor sanitation.

Although etiology is most commonly used in medicine, it can also be used in the context of any field in which the causes of things are studied. An example of etiology in psychology is the study of the causes of mental disorders.

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What are some other forms related to etiology?

  • aetiology (British English spelling)
  • etiological (adjective)
  • etiologically (adverb)
  • etiologist (noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with etiology?

What are some words that often get used in discussing etiology?


How is聽etiology used in real life?

Etiology is a formal, technical word that鈥檚 primarily used in medicine, but it can be used in other contexts as well.



Try using聽etiology!

Is etiology used correctly in the following sentence?聽聽

The etiology of a disease isn鈥檛 always so simple鈥攕ometimes there are multiple factors.

How to use etiology in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for etiology

/ (藢i藧t瑟藞蓲l蓹d蕭瑟) /

noun plural -gies
a variant spelling of aetiology

Derived forms of etiology

etiological (藢i藧t瑟蓹藞l蓲d蕭瑟kl), adjectiveetiologically, adverbetiologist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for etiology

[ 膿鈥瞭膿-艔l蓹-j膿 ]

The cause or origin of a disease, condition, or constellation of symptoms or signs, as determined by medical diagnosis or research.
The American Heritage庐 Science Dictionary Copyright 漏 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.