Pathological refers to something that is morbid or the result of a disease process. It also implies an extreme or abnormal behavior or thought pattern that is persistent and difficult to control.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



diseased, abnormal, morbid, compulsive, obsessive, erratic, deranged, sickly, neurotic, uncontrolled


Healthy, normal, balanced, regular, well-adjusted, controlled, stable

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun pathology, pathologists, pathologist, pathologies
Verb None
Adjective pathological, pathologic
Adverb pathologically

Example Sentences

  • His pathological fear of germs made him a chronic hand washer and obsessive cleaner.

  • The doctors were concerned about the pathological changes in the patient’s lungs caused by his decades long smoking addiction.

  • The serial killer exhibited a pathological disregard for human life and showed no signs of remorse during his trial.

  • The company went bankrupt due to the pathological lying and financial mismanagement by its former CEO.


The word pathological is often used to describe behavior, thoughts, or physical conditions that are extreme, abnormal, or indicative of disease. The word can be further analyzed into its components to better understand its meaning. The root of the word “patho” is derived from the Greek word pathos, which means suffering. When combined with the suffix “-logical”, it forms the adjective “pathological” which means the study or nature of suffering or disease.

The word pathological can be used in a variety of contexts, such as in medical terminology, psychology, and criminology. In medicine, it is used to describe conditions that are diseased or abnormal. For example, pathological changes to the brain can be indicative of neurological disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The word is also used in pathology to describe the examination and diagnosis of diseases through the analysis of bodily fluids, tissues, or organs.

In psychology, pathological behavior or thought patterns refer to those that are compulsive, obsessive, or persistent and interfere with a person’s ability to function normally. For example, pathological lying is a behavior that involves chronic dishonesty in order to manipulate or control others. Pathological gambling is a form of addiction that can lead to financial ruin and other negative consequences.

In criminology, the term pathological is often used to describe criminals who exhibit persistent antisocial or sociopathic behavior. These individuals may lack remorse or empathy and engage in criminal activity without regard for the consequences. These behaviors can be indicative of underlying psychological or psychiatric conditions that may require treatment.

Overall, the word pathological is a useful term that can be used to describe a wide range of abnormal or diseased conditions, behaviors, and thought patterns. Its usage can help to better understand and diagnose various medical, psychological, and criminological issues.