noun, plural prog·no·ses [prog-noh-seez] /prɒgˈnoʊ siz/.

Medicine/Medical. a forecasting of the probable course and outcome of a disease, especially of the chances of recovery.
a forecast or prognostication.

Origin of prognosis

1645–55; < Late Latin < Greek prógnōsis foreknowledge. See pro-2, gnosis
Can be confuseddiagnosis prognosis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prognosis

Contemporary Examples of prognosis

Historical Examples of prognosis

  • We never permit a patient to pronounce a prognosis upon his own case!

    Hidden Hand

    Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

  • If my prognosis is concurred in, these should reach Mudros on or about 1st August.

  • His prognosis of brain injuries was much better than that of his predecessors.

  • I can, as a medical man, bear witness that your prognosis was justified by the event.

  • The prognosis of fracture of the tibia, as a rule, must be unfavorable.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

    United States Department of Agriculture

British Dictionary definitions for prognosis


noun plural -noses (-ˈnəʊsiːz)

  1. a prediction of the course or outcome of a disease or disorder
  2. the chances of recovery from a disease
any forecast or prediction

Word Origin for prognosis

C17: via Latin from Greek: knowledge beforehand
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 prognosis

1650s, "forecast of the probable course of a disease," from Late Latin prognosis, from Greek prognosis "foreknowledge," also, in medicine, "predicted course of a disease," from stem of progignoskein "come to know beforehand," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + gignoskein "come to know" (see gnostic). General (non-medical) use in English from 1706. A back-formed verb prognose is attested from 1837. Related: Prognosed; prognosing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

prognosis in Medicine



n. pl. prog•no•ses (-sēz)

A prediction of the probable course and outcome of a disease.
The likelihood of recovery from a disease.
Related formsprog′nos•tician (-nŏs-tĭshən) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

prognosis in Culture



A medical prediction of the future course of a disease and the chance for recovery.


Prognosis is often used as a general term for predicting the unfolding of events: “The governor said that the prognosis for the state's financial future is bleak.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.