Definition of etiology in English:


Syllabification: e·ti·ol·o·gy
Pronunciation: /ˌētēˈäləjē
(British aetiology)

noun (plural etiologies)

  • 1 Medicine The cause, set of causes, or manner of causation of a disease or condition: a disease of unknown etiology a group of distinct diseases with different etiologies
    More example sentences
    • The term ‘chronic liver disease’ encompasses a large number of conditions having different etiologies and existing on a continuum between hepatitis infection and cirrhosis.
    • Infectious origins are suspected for many human diseases of unknown etiology, on the basis of epidemiologic and clinical features.
    • DNA samples from 195 children with chronic lung disease of unknown etiology were analyzed.
  • 1.1The causation of diseases and disorders as a subject of investigation.
    More example sentences
    • After her retirement, she took up the challenge to understand the etiology of bipolar disorder.
    • As well, information about the prevalence, etiology, and treatment of disorders in Canada provides a base from which comparable findings from other countries are discussed.
    • Researchers study etiology in order to develop more effective approaches to treatment and, ultimately, prevention.
  • 2The investigation or attribution of the cause or reason for something, often expressed in terms of historical or mythical explanation.
    More example sentences
    • We must assess individual tolerances for maltreatment, etiologies and reasons for enduring perpetration of abuse.
    • As to the etiology of this state of spiritual decline, many historical factors can be held responsible.
    • Siegel further highlighted the role of abuse in the etiology of female crime in an investigation of women survivors of childhood sexual abuse.



Pronunciation: /ˌētēəˈläjik/
More example sentences
  • Cigarette smoking has been identified as the leading cause of the disease and public awareness has been raised about its etiologic role and dire consequences.
  • Long-term medical diseases, minor ailments, medications and psychosocial difficulties, including prior physical or sexual abuse, are etiologic factors.
  • The report focuses on recognizing suspicious symptoms, disease clusters, and etiologic agents, and reporting cases of foodborne illness to public health authorities.


Pronunciation: /ˌētēəˈläjikəl/
More example sentences
  • Most of the etiological studies are biological in emphasis; however, neither the biological nor the few psychosocial studies approach etiological issues from a multidisciplinary biopsychosocial perspective.
  • For instance, the etiological premise for epidemics was slowly shifting from an ‘environmental’ cause, to the germ theory of disease transmission.
  • The conference has also provided a safe haven for independent medical researchers to present the most cutting-edge and controversial research and theory on the etiological factors contributing to autism.


Pronunciation: /ˌētēəˈläjik(ə)lē/
More example sentences
  • In a small subset of cases, however, the disease may be associated etiologically with trauma, previous surgery, infection, vasculitis, or autoimmune mechanisms.
  • Migraine is an organic disorder with a clear genetic background, even if environmental factors also are important both etiologically and in the precipitation of individual attacks.
  • For a long time now, it has been known that smoking is associated both etiologically and prognostically with numerous diseases of the respiratory system.


mid 16th century: via medieval Latin from Greek aitiologia, from aitia 'a cause' + -logia (see -logy).

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