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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or designating a disease having no known cause.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, relating to, or designating a disease or condition having no known cause.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to idiopathy; characterizing a disease arising primarily, and not in consequence of some other disease or injury; -- opposed to symptomatic, sympathetic, and traumatic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In pathology, of or pertaining to a primary morbid state; not secondary or arising from any other disease: as, an idiopathic affection: opposed to symptomatic.

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

  • adj. (of diseases) arising from an unknown cause


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

idio- + -pathic


  • The word idiopathic in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis means no one knows what causes the disease.

    Breathing New Life Into Lung Disease Awareness

  • Annoyingly for some people, no actual cause can be found - this is known as idiopathic rhinitis and is more difficult to treat.

    WalesOnline - Home

  • Medically, it is 'idiopathic' - which means that it arises spontaneously, from an unknown cause.


  • Pseudotumor cerebri, also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension or benign intracranial hypertension, was the latest disease a blog reader was 100 percent completely sure was the cause of my headache.

    Chocolate & Vicodin

  • Left-Handedness May Come From Toes A study of young children who walk on their toes for no apparent reason, known as idiopathic toe walking, found a significantly higher preference for left-handedness in the toe-walkers than normal-gait children, according to a report in Acta Paediatrica.

    Losing Baby Fat Lowers Heart Risks Later

  • However, most of the drug's sales were to doctors who used it "off label" to treat a different fatal lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

    Feds to Biotech Firms: Shut Up

  • The lead Stromedix candidate, known as STX-100, is currently aimed at an almost-always-fatal condition known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis that involves scarring in the lung and impedes breathing.

    Biogen to Acquire Biotech Firm

  • InterMune is seeking FDA approval for a drug, pirfenidone, which was developed to treat a lung condition known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

    FDA Panel Backs InterMune Lung Drug

  • On top of the asthma and allergies, I'd contracted a blood disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

    Archive 2010-07-01

  • InterMune Inc. said a panel from the European medicines regulator gave a positive opinion on its application to market its pirfenidone treatment for the fatal condition known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

    InterMune Boosted by European Regulatory Opinion


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  • a medical term meaning 'of unknown cause' as in: idiopathic epilepsy.

    A doctor friend used to say, "imagine that you are having seizures and you don't know why. You rush off to a fancy diagnostic clinic which does extensive neurological and other testing. At last you sit down with the doctor who gives you a diagnosis of 'Idiopathic Epilepsy.' which means, 'you are having seizures and we don't know why'

    You are troubled to hear that you have epilepsy, and you spent a lot of money but you are somewhat relieved that at least you now have a 'diagnosis.' "

    As my doctor friend said, "you can't send them a bill that repeats back their own words ie. 'you have seizures and we don't know why'. When they hear the long medical term they think you really KNOW something!"

    November 4, 2009