noun symp·tom \ˈsim(p)-təm\

: a change in the body or mind which indicates that a disease is present

: a change which shows that something bad exists : a sign of something bad

Full Definition of SYMPTOM

a :  subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance; broadly :  something that indicates the presence of bodily disorder
b :  an evident reaction by a plant to a pathogen
a :  something that indicates the existence of something else <symptoms of an inner turmoil>
b :  a slight indication :  trace
symp·tom·less \-ləs\ adjective

Origin of SYMPTOM

Late Latin symptomat-, symptoma, from Greek symptōmat-, symptōma happening, attribute, symptom, from sympiptein to happen, from syn- + piptein to fall — more at feather
First Known Use: 1541

Synonym Discussion of SYMPTOM

sign, mark, token, note, symptom mean a discernible indication of what is not itself directly perceptible. sign applies to any indication to be perceived by the senses or the reason <encouraging signs for the economy>. mark suggests something impressed on or inherently characteristic of a thing often in contrast to general outward appearance <a mark of a good upbringing>. token applies to something that serves as a proof of something intangible <this gift is a token of our esteem>. note suggests a distinguishing mark or characteristic <a note of irony in her writing>. symptom suggests an outward indication of an internal change or condition <rampant crime is a symptom of that city's decay>.
SYMPTOM Defined for Kids


noun symp·tom \ˈsimp-təm\

Definition of SYMPTOM for Kids

:  a noticeable change in the body or its functions that indicates the presence of a disease or other disorder
:  indication 2, sign <Loss of jobs is a symptom of a weakening economy.>
Medical Dictionary


noun symp·tom \ˈsim(p)-təm\

Medical Definition of SYMPTOM

:  subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance observed by the patient <headache is a symptom of many diseases> <visual disturbances may be a symptom of retinal arteriosclerosis>; broadly :  something that indicates the presence of a physical disorder—compare sign 2


Next Word in the Dictionary: symptomaticPrevious Word in the Dictionary: symposiumAll Words Near: symptom
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears