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From Latin diagn?sis, from Ancient Greek (diágn?sis), from (diagign?sk?, "to discern"), from (diá, "through") + (gign?sk?, "to know").


  • IPA(key): /da'ns?s/
    • (file)


diagnosis (countable and uncountable, plural diagnoses)

  1. (medicine) The identification of the nature and cause of an illness.
    He was given the wrong treatment due to an erroneous diagnosis.
    • 2012 January 1, Philip E. Mirowski, "Harms to Health from the Pursuit of Profits", in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 1, page 87:
      In an era when political leaders promise deliverance from decline through America's purported preeminence in scientific research, the news that science is in deep trouble in the United States has been as unwelcome as a diagnosis of leukemia following the loss of health insurance.
  2. The identification of the nature and cause of something (of any nature).
    • 1887, Charles L. Reade and Compton Reade, Charles Reade, Dramatist, Novelist, Journalist: A Memoir
      The quick eye for effects, the clear diagnosis of men's minds, and the love of epigram.
    • 1887, James Payn, Glow-worm tales
      My diagnosis of his character proved correct.
  3. (taxonomy) A written description of a species or other taxon serving to distinguish that species from all others. Especially, a description written in Latin and published.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, ->ISBN, page viii:
      The repeated exposure, over decades, to most taxa here treated has resulted in repeated modifications of both diagnoses and discussions, as initial ideas of the various taxa underwent--often repeated--conceptual modification.

Derived terms

Related terms




  1. (nonstandard) Synonym of diagnose

Further reading




diagnosis f (plural diagnosis)

  1. diagnosis

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