Etiology
The study of the causes. For example, of a disorder. The word "etiology" is mainly used in medicine, where it is the science that deals with the causes or origin of disease, the factors which produce or predispose toward a certain disease or disorder. Today in medicine one hears (or reads) that "the etiology is unknown." Translation — we don't know the cause. Aetiology is the preferred spelling in some countries, including the UK, whereas "etiology" without an "a" has taken over in the US. The word comes from the Greek "aitia", cause + "logos", discourse.
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1. The science and study of the causes of disease and their mode of operation. Cf.:pathogenesis. 2. The science of causes, causality; in common usage, cause. [G. aitia, cause, + logos, treatise, discourse]

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eti·ol·o·gy or chiefly Brit ae·ti·ol·o·gy .ēt-ē-'äl-ə-jē n, pl -gies
1) the cause or causes of a disease or abnormal condition <some types of cancer have a viral \etiology> <a multiple \etiology in which biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors all play a role (M. E. Jackson )(et al)>
2) a branch of medical science dealing with the causes and origin of diseases

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n.

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eti·ol·o·gy (e″te-olґə-je) [etio- + -logy] 1. the study or theory of the factors that cause disease and the method of their introduction to the host. 2. the causes or origin of a disease or disorder. Cf. pathogenesis.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Etiology — (alternatively aetiology, aitiology) is the study of causation. The word is derived from the Greek gr. αἰτιολογία, aitiologia , giving a reason for ( gr. αἰτία, aitia , cause ; and gr. λογία, logia ). [cite book | title = Aetiology | work =… …   Wikipedia

  • etiology — [ēt΄ē äl′ə jē] n. pl. etiologies [LL aetiologia < Gr aitiologia < aitia, cause (< base of aisa, fate: see DIET1) + logia, description: see LOGY] 1. the assignment of a cause, or the cause assigned [the etiology of a folkway] 2. the… …   English World dictionary

  • Etiology — E ti*ol o*gy, n. [Cf. F. [ e]tiologie.] The science of causes. Same as ?{tiology}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • etiology — science of causes or causation, 1550s, from L.L. aetiologia, from Gk. aitiologia statement of cause, from aitia cause + logia a speaking (see LOGY (Cf. logy)). Related: Etiologic; etiological …   Etymology dictionary

  • etiology — [[t]i͟ːtiɒ̱ləʤi[/t]] etiologies also aetiology N VAR: oft the N of n The etiology of a disease or a problem is the study of its causes. ...the etiology of psychiatric disorder …   English dictionary

  • etiology — noun (plural gies) Etymology: Medieval Latin aetiologia statement of causes, from Greek aitiologia, from aitia cause Date: circa 1555 1. cause, origin; specifically the cause of a disease or abnormal condition 2. a branch of knowledge concerned… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • etiology — etiologist, n. /ee tee ol euh jee/, n., pl. etiologies. 1. Pathol. a. the study of the causes of diseases. b. the cause or origin of a disease. 2. the study of causation. 3. any study of causes, causation, or causality, as in philosophy, biology …   Universalium

  • etiology — Synonyms and related words: accounting for, answerability, antecedents, application, arrogation, ascription, assignation, assignment, attachment, attribution, base, basis, blame, call, causation, cause, cause and effect, charge, connection with,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • etiology — et|i|ol|o|gy [ˌi:tiˈɔlədʒi, US ˈa:lə ] n [U and C] [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: aetiologia, from Greek aitia cause ] technical the cause of a disease or the scientific study of this >etiological [ˌi:tiəˈlɔdʒıkəl US ˈla: ] adj… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • etiology — e|ti|ol|o|gy [ ,iti alədʒi ] noun MEDICAL 1. ) count or uncount the cause of a disease 2. ) uncount the study of the causes of diseases …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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