Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A mass, such as an air bubble, a detached blood clot, or a foreign body, that travels through the bloodstream and lodges so as to obstruct or occlude a blood vessel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An obstruction causing an embolism: a blood clot, air bubble or other matter carried by the blood stream and causing a blockage or occlusion of a blood vessel.
  • n. The structure on the end of the palp of male arachnids which contains the opening to the ejaculatory duct.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Something inserted, as a wedge; the piston or sucker of a pump or syringe.
  • n. A plug of some substance lodged in a blood vessel, being brought thither by the blood current. It consists most frequently of a clot of fibrin, a detached shred of a morbid growth, a globule of fat, or a microscopic organism.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Something inserted into or acting within something else; that which thrusts or drives, as a piston or wedge.
  • n. The clot of fibrin obstructing a blood-vessel, causing embolism: as, capillary emboli.
  • n. The nucleus emboliformis of the cerebellum.
  • n. Also embolon, embolum.
  • n. The terminal portion of the digital joint of the palpus of a male spider, containing an orifice near the tip through which the seminal fluid is collected and later ejected.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an abnormal particle (e.g. an air bubble or part of a clot) circulating in the blood

Etymologies

Latin, piston of a pump, from Greek embolos, stopper, plug, from emballein, to insert; see emblem.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin embolus ("piston"), from Ancient Greek ἔμβολος (embolos, "peg, stopper"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Patients with clotting disorders may develop a pulmonary embolus, that is, they throw a clot that lodges in the blood vessels of the lung.

    THE LUPUS HANDBOOK FOR WOMEN

  • This practice can produce an air embolus air bubble in your blood, a potentially fatal condition.

    Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

  • The tall man who is a bleeder; my son with thyroid disease; my neighbor with breast cancer; or me with my pulmonary embolus: we did not choose these things, cannot be held responsible, and should not pay more.

    Deane Waldman: Aaahh, Iiiiinnput!

  • This moving clot is often called an embolus or embolism.

    Arterial Ischemic Stroke (AIS)

  • SCHEINBERG: Well, I think there were several predisposing factors that led you to having a pulmonary embolus.

    CNN Transcript Jan 7, 2008

  • Your mother may have thrown an embolus, and she is at risk of another major event.

    What was that about stroke symptoms?

  • "The two cases of pulmonary embolus, a serious and potentially fatal condition, must be counted as two cases ...," the report said.

    Ortho-McNeil Knew Ortho-Evra Patch Was Lethal

  • I just assumed she must have thrown another embolus.

    Mortal Remains

  • Before closing the chart, he took a final glance through the clinical notes Melanie had written at the time of the first embolus, refreshing his memory about what had been done so he could more easily pick up the threads of the patient's story when he got to the floor.

    Mortal Remains

  • Earl referred to the abnormalities of sensation, movement, and reflexes that would have occurred in the specific region of her body controlled by whatever part of the brain a recent embolus might have injured.

    Mortal Remains

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