any phenomenon or circumstance accompanying something and serving as evidence of it.
a sign or indication of something.
Pathology. a phenomenon that arises from and accompanies a particular disease or disorder and serves as an indication of it.

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin symptōma < Greek sýmptōma occurrence, that which falls together with something, equivalent to sym- sym- + ptō- (variant stem of píptein to fall) + -ma noun suffix of result

presymptom, noun

2. signal, token, mark. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
symptom (ˈsɪmptəm)
1.  med Compare sign any sensation or change in bodily function experienced by a patient that is associated with a particular disease
2.  any phenomenon or circumstance accompanying something and regarded as evidence of its existence; indication
[C16: from Late Latin symptōma, from Greek sumptōma chance, from sumpiptein to occur, from syn- + piptein to fall]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1540s, earlier sinthoma (late 14c.), from M.L. sinthoma "symptom of a disease," from L.L. symptoma, from Gk. symptoma (gen. symptomatos) "a happening, accident, disease," from stem of sympiptein "to befall," from syn- "together" + piptein "to fall," from PIE base *pet- "to rush, to fly" (see
petition). Spelling altered in Eng. by influence of M.Fr. and L.L. forms. Symptomatic in general sense of "indicative (of)" is from 1751.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

symptom symp·tom (sĭm'təm, sĭmp'-)
An indication of disorder or disease, especially when experienced by an individual as a change from normal function, sensation, or appearance. Also called sign.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
symptom   (sĭm'təm)  Pronunciation Key 
A subjective indication of a disorder or disease, such as pain, nausea or weakness. Symptoms may be accompanied by objective signs of disease such as abnormal laboratory test results or findings during a physical examination. Compare sign.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Obesity is one manifestation of a group of symptoms known as metabolic syndrome.
His symptoms worsened rapidly and he had trouble breathing.
Pancreatic cancer is typically diagnosed at a late stage because it doesn't
  cause symptoms until it's too late.
Some researchers think that by the time dementia symptoms appear, it is already
  too late to undo the damage.
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