Definition of aetiology in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌiːtɪˈɒlədʒi/
(US etiology)


[mass noun]
1 Medicine The cause, set of causes, or manner of causation of a disease or condition: the importance of sunlight in the aetiology of melanoma [count noun]: a group of distinct diseases with different aetiologies
More example sentences
  • Lung transplantation represents the last therapeutic option for advanced lung disease of many etiologies.
  • The authors note that acute MIs in their two study groups probably have different etiologies.
  • A variety of etiologies accounted for the condition.
1.1The causation of diseases and disorders as a subject of investigation.
Example sentences
  • Our conclusions may be helpful in the further investigation of etiology, diagnosis, and therapy for MCS.
  • This article reviews the epidemiology, etiology, and diagnosis of seizure disorders in the elderly.
  • Research in disease aetiology has shifted towards investigating genetic causes, powered by the human genome project.
2The investigation or attribution of the cause or reason for something, often expressed in terms of historical or mythical explanation.
Example sentences
  • Their etiology and teleology are explicable within a moral and historical paradigm.
  • No single ‘explanation’, no minimalist aetiology, can catch the richness and multivalence of the event.
  • Aristotle displays some hesitation in his discussion of desire and its relation to practical reason in the aetiology of animal action.



Pronunciation: /ˌiːtɪəˈlɒdʒɪk/
Example sentences
  • A possible etiologic relation to chronic inflammation and lung fibrosis is supported.
  • The etiologic role of HPV infections in cancers of the lower genital tract is well established.
  • Numerous investigators have studied the etiologic pathogens associated with otitis media in children.


Pronunciation: /ˌiːtɪəˈlɒdʒɪk(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Rapid etiological diagnosis will help in timely institution of specific therapy.
  • These aetiological factors are not mutually exclusive.
  • Disconcertingly, however, many of the aetiological questions asked over 150 years ago are still unanswered.


Pronunciation: /ˌiːtɪəˈlɒdʒɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • The fetal origins of type 2 diabetes, an aetiologically distinct disorder, are now well established.
  • An important step in meeting this challenge is to integrate interventions whose targets are linked, socially and aetiologically.
  • Stress may be obvious and likely to be aetiologically implicated.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: aeti|ology

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