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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Symptom


SYMP'TOM, noun [Gr. a falling or accident, to fall.]

1. Properly, something that happens in concurrence with another thing, as an attendant. Hence in medicine, any affection which accompanies disease; a perceptible change in the body or its functions, which indicates disease. The causes of disease often lie beyond our sight, but we learn the nature of them by the symptoms. Particular symptoms which more uniformly accompany a morbid state of the body, and are characteristic of it, are called pathognomonic or diagnostic symptoms.

2. A sign or token; that which indicates the existence of something else; as, open murmurs of the people are a symptom of disaffection to law or government.