Definition of etiology in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌēdēˈäləjē/
(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.
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.
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/
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: /ˌēdēəˈläjək(ə)l/
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/
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).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: e·ti·ol·o·gy

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