Said of a physical or mental syndrome beyond the patient's control, and destructive or limiting to the patient. A healthy culture of intestinal flora, which may include some yeast, is not pathological; a yeast infection is. Using occasional harmless lies to smooth over casual interactions is not pathological; compulsive, harmful, consistent lying is.

disease | disorder | pathological liar | cure | heal | AMA

Term used in Mathematics to describe something formulated for the sole use of proving statements wrong. For example, when talking about calculus, the function
f(x) = sin(1/x)
breaks most of the rules you learnt at high school. A more complicated example is the blancmange function.

path = P = payware

pathological adj.

1. [scientific computation] Used of a data set that is grossly atypical of normal expected input, esp. one that exposes a weakness or bug in whatever algorithm one is using. An algorithm that can be broken by pathological inputs may still be useful if such inputs are very unlikely to occur in practice. 2. When used of test input, implies that it was purposefully engineered as a worst case. The implication in both senses is that the data is spectacularly ill-conditioned or that someone had to explicitly set out to break the algorithm in order to come up with such a crazy example. 3. Also said of an unlikely collection of circumstances. "If the network is down and comes up halfway through the execution of that command by root, the system may just crash." "Yes, but that's a pathological case." Often used to dismiss the case from discussion, with the implication that the consequences are acceptable, since they will happen so infrequently (if at all) that it doesn't seem worth going to the extra trouble to handle that case (see sense 1).

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Path`o*log"ic (?), Path`o*log"ic*al (?), a. [Gr. &?;: cf. F. pathologique.]

Of or pertaining to pathology. -- Path`o*log"ic*al*ly, adv.


© Webster 1913

Path`o*log"ic, Path`o*log"ic*al , a. (Med.)

Morbid; due to disease; abnormal; as, pathological tissue; a pathological condition.


© Webster 1913

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