- noun a type of medical treatment that involves using natural substances that produce a very mild form of the condition that the patient already has
- noun the treatment of a condition by giving the person very small quantities of a substance which, when given to a healthy person, would cause symptoms like those of the condition being treated.
Origin & History of “homeopathy”
Greek hómoios meant ‘like, similar’. It was derived from homós ‘same’, a word ultimately related to English same which has contributed homogeneous (17th c.), homonym (17th c.), homophone (17th c.), and homosexual (19th c.) to the English language. Combined with -pátheia, a derivative of Greek páthos ‘passion, suffering’, it produced German homöopathie, which was borrowed by English around 1830. Etymologically, the word means ‘cure by similarity’ – that is, by administering minute quantities of the same substance as caused the disease – and contrasts with allopathy (19th c.), based on Greek állos ‘other’.