New Word: “Idiopathic”

Posted on January 8, 2016
Filed Under: words

Basically, a disease that just happens for no reason:

Relating to or denoting any disease or condition that arises spontaneously or for which the cause is unknown.

From an article about Natalie Cole:

The family told the Associated Press the singer died of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, which led to heart failure. [...] Because Cole’s case was idiopathic, the exact cause is unknown.

I think that last sentence is superfluous. It was idiopathic because it was unknown, not the other way around.  And even then, you’re just confirming the definition there, really.