Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “symptom”


noun [C]     /ˈsɪmp.təm/
B2 any feeling of illness or physical or mental change that is caused by a particular disease : He's complaining of all the usual flu symptoms - a high temperature , headache , and so on. He's been HIV-positive for six years , but just recently he's started to develop the symptoms of AIDS .Symptoms and diagnosis of medical problems C2 any single problem that is caused by and shows a more serious and general problem : It's her feeling that the recent outbreaks of violence are a symptom of the dissatisfaction that is currently affecting our society .Typifying, illustrating and exemplifyingMeaning and significance
(Definition of symptom noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of symptom

Definitions of “symptom” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

prenuptial agreement

an official document signed by two people before they get married that says what will happen to their possessions and/or children if they divorce (= officially stop being married)

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More