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Encyclopedia > Symptoms

The term symptom (from the Greek syn = con/plus and pipto = fall, together meaning co-exist) has two similar meanings in the context of physical and mental health:

  • A symptom can be a physical condition which shows that one has a particular illness or disorder (see e.g. Longman, 1995). An example of a symptom in this sense of the word would be a rash.
  • A symptom can also refer to a sensation or change in health function experienced by a patient. In this sense of the word, it is a subjective report, as opposed to a sign, which is objective evidence of the presence of a disease or disorder. Examples of symptoms are fatigue/tiredness, pain, or nausea. In contrast, elevated blood pressure, or abnormal appearance of the retina, would be signs of disease.

See also


  • Longman dictionary of contemporary English (1995). Third edition.

  Results from FactBites:
Symptom - Glossary Entry - Genetics Home Reference (94 words)
Symptom - Glossary Entry - Genetics Home Reference
Some examples of symptoms are headache, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and pain.
Subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance observed by the patient symptom of many diseases> symptom of retinal arteriosclerosis>; broadly: something that indicates the presence of a physical disorder.
symptom: definition, usage and pronunciation - YourDictionary.com (97 words)
"The affair is a symptom of a global marital disturbance; it is not the disturbance itself"
Something visible or evident that gives grounds for believing in the existence or presence of something else: badge, evidence, index, indication, indicator, manifestation, mark, note, sign, signification, stamp, token, witness.
, symptom of a disease, from Medieval Latin
  More results at FactBites »



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