Diagnostic vs. Diagnosis — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 16, 2023
Diagnostic is an adjective describing tests, procedures, or tools used to identify a condition or disease. Diagnosis is a noun that refers to the identification itself of a disease or condition based on symptoms and tests.
Difference Between Diagnostic and Diagnosis
In everyday language, the term diagnostic might refer to something designed to diagnose or characterize something, such as a 'diagnostic evaluation' in education. Diagnosis in a non-medical setting can refer to identifying the nature or cause of something, like a problem or challenge.
While both terms are closely related and often used in medical contexts, understanding the difference is crucial. Diagnostic pertains to the process or method of identifying a condition, while diagnosis refers to the identification or label of that condition.
Grammar-wise, "diagnostic" functions as an adjective in sentences, modifying nouns like "test" or "procedure." Diagnosis serves as a noun, often the subject or object in a sentence, as in "The diagnosis was confirmed."
Diagnostic refers to the methods, tests, or tools used in determining a medical condition. These can include blood tests, MRI scans, and other medical procedures. Diagnosis, on the other hand, is the determination or identification of a disease or condition itself, often made by a healthcare professional.
Diagnostic procedures are what healthcare providers use to gather data and information about a patient. This data is then used to make a diagnosis, which is a label for a patient's condition, often confirmed by the results of diagnostic tests.
Part of Speech
Identification of a Condition
Medical and non-medical
Mostly medical, but also non-medical
Function in Sentence
Serves as subject or object
Descriptive of methods used to diagnose.
She specializes in diagnostic imaging.
The identification of a medical condition or disease.
His diagnosis was Type 2 diabetes.
Pertaining to the identification of diseases or conditions.
The diagnostic test confirmed the presence of anemia.
The conclusion reached by medical evaluation.
The diagnosis came after multiple tests.
Serving to diagnose or identify.
The diagnostic criteria for the condition are very specific.
The act of identifying a problem or condition.
The mechanic's diagnosis pointed to a faulty engine.
Characterizing tools used for medical identification.
The diagnostic device is portable and easy to use.
A healthcare professional's determination of illness.
The doctor provided a diagnosis during the visit.
Useful in determining a medical issue.
The doctor found the diagnostic procedure to be highly effective.
Diagnosis is the identification of the nature and cause of a certain phenomenon. Diagnosis is used in many different disciplines, with variations in the use of logic, analytics, and experience, to determine "cause and effect".
Of, relating to, or used in a diagnosis.
The act or process of identifying or determining the nature and cause of a disease or injury through evaluation of patient history, examination, and review of laboratory data.
Serving to identify a particular disease; characteristic.
The opinion derived from such an evaluation.
Often diagnostics (used with a sing. verb) The art or practice of medical diagnosis.
A critical analysis of the nature of something.
A symptom or a distinguishing feature serving as supporting evidence in a diagnosis.
The conclusion reached by such analysis.
An instrument or technique used in medical diagnosis.
(Biology) A brief description of the distinguishing characteristics of an organism, as for taxonomic classification.
Of, or relating to diagnosis.
(medicine) The identification of the nature and cause of an illness.
(medicine) Characteristic of a particular disease.
The identification of the nature and cause of something (of any nature).
Serving to indicate or specify a particular item or thing within a group of similar things.
(taxonomy) A written description of a species or other taxon serving to distinguish that species from all others; especially a description written and published in Latin.
(education) Intended to assess a student's preexisting knowledge on the material being taught.
A diagnostic assessment
Synonym of diagnose
Any technique used in medical diagnosis.
The art or act of recognizing the presence of disease from its signs or symptoms, and deciding as to its character; also, the decision arrived at.
(computing) Any tool or technique used to find the root of a problem.
Hence, the act or process of identifying the nature or cause of some phenomenon, especially the abnormal behavior of an animal or artifactual device; as, diagnosis of a vibration in an automobile; diagnosis of the failure of a sales campaign; diagnosis of a computer malfunction.
That by which anything is known; a symptom.
Scientific determination of any kind; the concise description of characterization of a species.
Pertaining to, or furnishing, a diagnosis; indicating the nature of a disease.
Critical perception or scrutiny; judgment based on such scrutiny; esp., perception of, or judgment concerning, motives and character.
The quick eye for effects, the clear diagnosis of men's minds, and the love of epigram.
My diagnosis of his character proved correct.
The mark or symptom by which one disease is known or distinguished from others.
Identifying the nature or cause of some phenomenon
Concerned with diagnosis; used for furthering diagnosis;
A diagnostic clinic
A diagnostic reading test
The result of diagnostic tests or examinations.
The MRI supported the initial diagnosis.
Characteristic or indicative of e.g. a disease;
A diagnostic sign of yellow fever
A rash symptomatic of scarlet fever
Symptomatic of insanity
A rise in crime symptomatic of social breakdown
Can diagnostic be used as a noun?
Rarely, but generally, it functions as an adjective.
Is a diagnosis always medical?
Mostly, but it can also refer to identifying problems in other contexts.
How does diagnostic function in a sentence?
As an adjective, it modifies nouns like "test" or "procedure."
How does diagnosis function in a sentence?
As a noun, it often serves as the subject or object.
What is diagnosis?
Diagnosis is a noun referring to the identification of a condition or disease.
Can you give an example of a diagnosis?
"Type 2 diabetes" is a diagnosis based on specific criteria.
Can a diagnosis change?
Yes, especially if new information or diagnostic tests become available.
Can anyone make a diagnosis?
Typically, a qualified healthcare provider should make a medical diagnosis.
What is diagnostic?
Diagnostic is an adjective describing tests or methods used to identify a condition.
Is a diagnostic test always accurate?
Not always; that's why multiple tests are often needed for a diagnosis.
What is diagnostic criteria?
These are specific conditions or symptoms used to make a diagnosis.
Is a diagnosis confidential?
Generally, yes, especially in healthcare settings, due to privacy laws.
What is a differential diagnosis?
It's a list of possible conditions, narrowed down by diagnostic tests.
What comes first, diagnostic or diagnosis?
Diagnostic tests are usually conducted first to make a diagnosis.
What's an example of a diagnostic tool?
An MRI machine is a diagnostic tool used in healthcare.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.