The study of all factors that may be involved in the development of a disease, including the patient's susceptibility, the nature of the disease-causing agent, and the way in which the person's body is invaded by the agent.
The cause or triggering factor for development of a specific disease. For example, an h. pylori bacterial infection is involved in the etiology of most stomach and duodenal ulcers. When a specific etiology is not obvious, the condition is said to be idiopathic.
(sometimes spelled aetiology; from Greek for "cause, origin") A term used to describe or label stories (etiological tales) that claim to explain the reason for something being (or being called) what it is; for example, in the old Jewish creation story (Genesis 2:23), woman (ishah) is given that name because she has been taken out of (the side or rib of) "man" (ish). See Chapter 6.
Etiology (alternately aetiology, aitiology) is the study of causation. It is derived from the Greek meaning 'concerned with causes', and so can refer to myths as well as to medical and philosophical theories.