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[path-uh-loj-i-kuh l] /ˌpæθ əˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/
of or relating to pathology.
caused by or involving disease; morbid.
caused by or evidencing a mentally disturbed condition:
a pathological hoarder.
dealing with diseases:
a pathological casebook.
Also, pathologic.
1680-90; < Greek pathologik(ós) (see pathology, -ic) + -al1
Related forms
pathologically, adverb
nonpathologic, adjective
nonpathological, adjective
nonpathologically, adverb
postpathologic, adjective
postpathological, adjective
semipathologic, adjective
semipathological, adjective
semipathologically, adverb
unpathological, adjective
unpathologically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pathological
  • Though having a big mess is a far cry from pathological hoarding, such behavior appears to be on a continuum.
  • One is a pathological smuggler of rare birds.
  • But it's nothing like the wealth of pathological material you can extract from a preserved body.
  • And each pathological variation demands its own particular treatment plan.
  • Candidates should possess a sound basic knowledge of microscopy and clinical pathological and histological techniques.
  • Not all pathological lying stems from such neurological difficulties.
  • He had a problem with pathological lying and began trying to get me into some type of undesirable “situation”.
  • The deaths were spread out over a large area and have no common pathological links, she said.
  • He liked and admired Sumner, but thought his mind a pathological study.
  • Seven patients developed pathological gambling habits within one to three months of treatment.
British Dictionary definitions for pathological


of or relating to pathology
relating to, involving, or caused by disease
(informal) compulsively motivated: a pathological liar
Derived Forms
pathologically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pathological

1680s, "pertaining to disease," formed in English from pathologic + -al (1). Sense of "worthy to be a subject of pathology, morbid, excessive" (e.g. pathological liar) is attested from 1845. Related: Pathologically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pathological in Medicine

pathological path·o·log·i·cal (pāth'ə-lŏj'ĭ-kəl) or path·o·log·ic (-ĭk)

  1. Of or relating to pathology.

  2. Relating to or caused by disease.

path'o·log'i·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pathological in Technology

1. [scientific computation] Used of a data set that is grossly atypical of normal expected input, especially one that exposes a weakness or bug in whatever algorithm one is using. An algorithm that can be broken by pathological inputs may still be useful if such inputs are very unlikely to occur in practice.
2. When used of test input, implies that it was purposefully engineered as a worst case. The implication in both senses is that the data is spectacularly ill-conditioned or that someone had to explicitly set out to break the algorithm in order to come up with such a crazy example.
3. Also said of an unlikely collection of circumstances. "If the network is down and comes up halfway through the execution of that command by root, the system may just crash." "Yes, but that's a pathological case." Often used to dismiss the case from discussion, with the implication that the consequences are acceptable, since they will happen so infrequently (if at all) that it doesn't seem worth going to the extra trouble to handle that case (see sense 1).
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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