from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An inquiry into or a theory of the physical causes of any class of phenomena.
  • noun Specifically, in medicine, an inquiry into or account of the origin or causes of disease, or of a particular kind or case of disease. Sometimes written aitiology.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The science, doctrine, or demonstration of causes; esp., the investigation of the causes of any disease; the science of the origin and development of things.
  • noun The assignment of a cause.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The establishment of a cause, origin, or reason for something.
  • noun The study of causes or causation.
  • noun medicine The study or investigation of the causes of disease; a scientific explanation for the origin of a disease.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the philosophical study of causation
  • noun the cause of a disease


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin aetiologia, from Ancient Greek αἰτιολογία (aitiologia), from αἰτία ("cause").


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  • Collinge J, Sidle KCL, Meads J, et al. Molecular analysis of prion strain variation and the aetiology of ‘new variant’ CJD.

    Mad-cow Disease

  • In other words, out of the 1,300 cases now being studied on the programme, several dozen new diseases should soon be identified and their exact aetiology unravelled.

    In pursuit of diseases that have no name

  • And I know a little about Crohn's...enough to know that it does not have an emotional aetiology. *hugs*


  • A psychologist I know gives her last lecture of each year on a paper entitled ‘The aetiology and treatment of childhood’.

    New NICE guidelines on ADHD and Ritalin

  • A psychologist I know gives her last lecture of each year on a paper entitled ‘The aetiology and treatment of childhood’.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • This ethnography of alleged links between child-rearing practices, rural economic decline and mental illness probably did get the aetiology of schizophrenia in Ireland wrong.

    Making Light: Scholarly works to avoid citing at all costs

  • [HzH] Well, my personal conviction that there must be ... first of all there must be an infectious aetiology of this type of malignant disease, but secondly also I was in-between always encouraged – in spite of the fact that we didn't find directly this virus – by the fact that I saw how many questions there remained open in the papilloma virus field.

    Harald zur Hausen - Interview

  • I do not think that the aetiology of Autism and the link to the MMR vaccine is too unlikely in this context.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • Malignant melanoma and lymphoproliferative malignancy: is there a shared aetiology?

    Potential impacts of direct mechanisms of climate change on human health in the Arctic

  • Several doctors have told me that illness in general, or at least in numerous common cases, has a profound psychological component in its aetiology, so the idea that all or a great deal of illness is due to the general psychological impact of sin strikes me as quite plausible.

    Behe challenges Miller


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