Word of the Week: Remission

illustration of scientist looking into microscope - word of the week

Alex Dos Diaz / Verywell

Each week, Verywell explains a term from health, medicine, science, or technology.


How to say itRemission (ree-MISH-shun)

What it means: Time when a disease or condition goes away or the symptoms get better.

Where it comes from: From Latin, remittere, "to send back"

A white person wearing a light pink head scarf; an unseen person has their hand on the person's shoulder in comfort.


Where you might see or hear it: If you have a chronic medical condition like multiple sclerosis (MS), you might have times when your symptoms are not bad or even go away completely. During these periods, the disease is also not getting any worse (progressing).

Your provider might explain that when you are feeling good, it's because your disease is in remission.

When you might want to use it: Remission is also talked about with cancer. If you are diagnosed with cancer, you could tell your loved ones that the treatments you are getting may help stop the disease from getting worse or even make it go away.

When this happens, it means that your cancer has gone into remission. Sometimes, cancer goes into remission on its own (spontaneous).

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