The word occult is sometimes used in medicine to describe a condition that has hidden causes. This is merely using the most literal meaning of the word occult, which is something that is "hidden".

So, for future reference, if your doctor tells you that you suffer from ulcers with occult causes, it just means that she or he hasn't figured out what is wrong with you, not that you need to go find an exorcist.

Oc*cult" (?), a. [L. occultus, p.p. of occulere to cover up, hide; ob (see Ob-) + a root prob.akin to E. hell: cf. F. occulte.]

Hidden from the eye or the understanding; inviable; secret; concealed; unknown.

It is of an occult kind, and is so insensible in its advances as to escape observation. I. Taylor.

Occult line Geom., a line drawn as a part of the construction of a figure or problem, but not to appear in the finished plan. -- Occult qualities, those qualities whose effects only were observed, but the nature and relations of whose productive agencies were undetermined; -- so called by the schoolmen. -- Occult sciences, those sciences of the Middle Ages which related to the supposed action or influence of occult qualities, or supernatural powers, as alchemy, magic, necromancy, and astrology.

 

© Webster 1913.


Oc*cult", v. t.

To eclipse; to hide from sight.

 

© Webster 1913.

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