The word histopathology is derived from a combination of three Greek words: histos meaning tissue; pathos meaning disease; logos meaning study.

It refers to the microscopic examination of biological tissue-biopsy or surgical specimens by a pathologist, after the specimen has been processed and histological sections have been placed onto glass slides. The tissue removed from the body is placed in a fixative-formalin which stabilizes the tissue to prevent decay. The appearance of diseased cells and tissues is observed in very fine detail.