Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hereditary predisposition of the body to a disease, a group of diseases, an allergy, or another disorder.
  • n. Grammar See voice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hereditary or constitutional predisposition to a disease or other disorder.
  • n. Voice (active or passive).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Bodily condition or constitution, esp. a morbid habit which predisposes to a particular disease, or class of diseases.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In medicine, a predisposing condition or habit of body; constitutional predisposition: as, a strumous or scrofulous diathesis.
  • n. A predisposing condition or state of mind; a mental tendency; hence, a predisposing condition or tendency in anything.

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

  • n. constitutional predisposition to a particular disease or abnormality

Etymologies

Greek, disposition, condition, from diatithenai, diathe-, to dispose : dia-, dia- + tithenai, to place, set; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Modern Latin, from Ancient Greek διάθεσις ("state, condition"), from διατιθέναι ("to arrange"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That the Greek describes object choices in terms of diathesis, meaning leanings/inclinations or bodily state or condition, and gnome, translated as will, inclination, and dispositions (164-65), further suggests that, at least in these instances, we may have more in common with the

    The Uses and Abuses of Historicism: Halperin and Shelley on the Otherness of Ancient Greek Sexuality

  • Yes, Stephen had all the symptoms, what the doctors called the "diathesis," or look of consumption: nearly transparent skin, through which blue veins could be seen ticking, and a haggard face and a cavernous, wheezing chest.

    ‘Hotel de Dream: A New York Novel’

  • A very principal object however is to understand the nature of predisposition, and the kind of diathesis, whether sthenic or asthenic, to which it inclines: this not only throws light on the nature of the disease, but affords us the only means of preventing it.

    Popular Lectures on Zoonomia Or The Laws of Animal Life, in Health and Disease

  • But what the doctors call a diathesis, a predisposition to some given disease, is most certainly heritable -- a fact which Karl Pearson and others have proved by statistics that can not be given here. [

    Applied Eugenics

  • Bolstered over the past 15 years by numerous studies, this hypothesis, often called the “stress diathesis” or “genetic vulnerability” model, has come to saturate psychiatry and behavioral science.

    The Science of Success

  • Patients regularly using drugs (e.g. NSAIDs) that would increase the risk of hemorrhage, or patients with bleeding tendency or hemorrhagic diathesis.

    Paxil Study 329 All Over Again?

  • A neurobiological diathesis similar to anxiety, specifically panic disorder, is a neurobiologically plausible mechanism to explain triggered reactions to ambient doses of environmental agents, real or perceived.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Professors and Intelligent Design:

  • Is this sort of unintentional ? insult a legacy of past/distant worse inequities, or a possible diathesis for future ones?

    In Defense Of Generalizations and “Petty” Complaints

  • Translated into English by G.C. Macaulay, M.A. {e Herodotou diathesis en apasin epieikes, kai tois men agathois sunedomene, tois de kakois sunalgousa}. —

    The History of Herodotus

  • ‘Well,’ said Reardon, musing cheerfully, ‘I shall never become a drunkard; I haven’t that diathesis, to use your expression.

    New Grub Street

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