What do the letters Dx - of diagnosis- stand for?



I always see the letters Dx as the abbreviation of diagnosis, but I never understand how does this letter relate to the word diagnosis which doesn't contain the letter x. Therefore my question is

What do these two letters (Dx) stand for?

An example using these letters: Dx: atrial fibrilation and right bundlebranch block. (in cardiology)

Judicious Allure

Posted 2016-03-06T23:24:21.663

Reputation: 24 598

Example, please. – user3169 – 2016-03-07T00:46:26.790

I added now, for your request. – Judicious Allure – 2016-03-07T00:53:23.253

It is likely a copy of the x in Rx (prescription) As to the origin of that, here is some in depth speculation: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1641/what-does-the-pharmacists-symbol-rx-mean

– Adam – 2016-03-07T17:47:46.377

relevant post on English Language and Usage: Term for the second letter in Sx, Dx, Rx?

– sumelic – 2016-03-19T03:41:31.350



There are a number of abbreviations which use the first letter and an 'x'. The other ones I can think of are:

Rx - Latin recipe ("take" - the traditional first word of a recipe!)

Tx - transmit/transmission

Rx - receive/reception

I suspect that the practice goes back to scribal abbreviations, though I don't know for sure.

Colin Fine

Posted 2016-03-06T23:24:21.663

Reputation: 47 277


Here are some more: https://www.englishforums.com/English/OnGroundThoseAbbreviationsCreated/vvwx/post.htm

– sumelic – 2016-03-06T23:43:09.417

I think a lot of the replies on that forum are unsupported speculation, and probably wrong. – Colin Fine – 2016-03-07T00:01:07.623

Probably! I didn't know about "Sx," "Fx" etc though. – sumelic – 2016-03-07T00:03:28.273

No, I didn't, either. It is noticeable that all the examples we have are used in particular fields, effectively as professional jargon: I'm not sure that any of them will be understood by the general public, except possible Rx for a prescription. – Colin Fine – 2016-03-07T00:14:06.987

1Good information but it doesn't answer the question. – user3169 – 2016-03-07T00:46:12.663

Well, it doesn't directly. It rather implies that the x stands for "the rest of the word". – Colin Fine – 2016-03-07T14:49:10.017


Dx is an abbreviation for a medical diagnosis or diagnostic (tool).

If you Google search on Dx diagnostics you can find numerous references.

dx is also used in radio communications, but that meaning is different (included in the above definition).


Posted 2016-03-06T23:24:21.663

Reputation: 29 679