Disease nomenclature: A system of classifying and naming diseases. The contemporary categories and codes for diseases are outlined in the World Health Organization's "International Classification of Diseases." Within some medical fields, there are standard nomenclatures. For example, DSM-IV, the 4th edition of "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" is a comprehensive classification of officially recognized psychiatric disorders.
There was once no standard classification or nomenclature (system of names) for diseases. The recorded causes of death were often narratives of symptoms. The systematic classification of diseases dates back to the nineteenth century. Groundwork was done by early medical statisticians William Farr (1807-1883) and Jacques Bertillon (1851-1922). The French government invoked the first International Conference for the revision of the Bertillon or International Classification of Causes of Death in 1900.