1. The retrospective study, often by a physician, of the possible influence and effects of disease on the life and work of a historical personage or group.
2. A style of biography that overemphasizes the negative aspects of a person's life and work, such as failure, unhappiness, illness, and tragedy: "[It] falls into pathography's technique of emphasizing the sensational underside of its subject's life" (Joyce Carol Oates).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n, pl -phies
1. (Medicine) a description of disease
2. (Medicine) a historical study of an individual or community and the incidence and effects of (a) disease
3. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a biography that focuses on the negative aspects of its subject
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
pa•thog•ra•phy(pəˈθɒg rə fi)
a biography that focuses on the negative elements of its subject.
[1985–90; popularized in this sense by J.C. Oates, U.S. writer]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.