1. The conviction that one is or is likely to become ill even though there is no medical evidence of illness.
2. A psychiatric disorder characterized by excessive concern about having a serious illness. Patients formerly diagnosed with this disorder are now often diagnosed with either somatic symptom disorder (if physical symptoms are present) or illness anxiety disorder (if physical symptoms are not present). Also called hypochondriasis.
3. Plural of hypochondrium.
[Late Latin, abdomen, from Greek hupokhondria, pl. of hupokhondrion, abdomen (held to be the seat of melancholy), from neuter of hupokhondrios, under the cartilage of the breastbone : hupo-, hypo- + khondros, cartilage; see ghrendh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.