from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Pathology A wasting or decrease in size of a body organ, tissue, or part owing to disease, injury, or lack of use: muscular atrophy of a person affected with paralysis.
- n. A wasting away, deterioration, or diminution: intellectual atrophy.
- transitive v. To cause to wither or deteriorate; affect with atrophy.
- intransitive v. To waste away; wither or deteriorate.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A reduction in the functionality of an organ caused by disease, injury or lack of use.
- v. To wither or waste away.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A wasting away from lack of nourishment; diminution in bulk or slow emaciation of the body or of any part.
- intransitive v. To waste away; to dwindle.
- transitive v. To cause to waste away or become abortive; to starve or weaken.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To waste away.
- n. A wasting of the body, or of a part of it, owing to defective nutrition.
- n. In botany and zoology, arrested development of an organ due to stoppage of growth at any stage by the operation of causes either external to or inherent in the organism.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a decrease in size of an organ caused by disease or disuse
- n. any weakening or degeneration (especially through lack of use)
- v. undergo atrophy
Infantile paralysis, which often appears suddenly, muscular atrophy, which develops slowly, _progressive and chronic atrophy_ of the muscles, are also forms of muscular disease, combined with destruction of the accompanying nerve tissue.
His mother explained that his disease, spinal muscular atrophy, is gradually deteriorating his neuromuscular system so that every few months, he loses more of his ability to move.
Our country languishes today in atrophy from pay to play politics.
It confirms earlier research showing a link between brain atrophy and low levels of B12.
Brain atrophy in elderly leads to unintended racism, depression and problem gambling
Mark Siegel of the blog 19th Floor, who has spinal muscular atrophy, is the subject of a feature article in Law & Politics, a legal magazine out of Minnesota.
While the terms atrophy and abortion apply in the main to a mere diminution of size, as contrasted with the ordinary standard, degeneration may be understood to apply to those cases in which not only is the absolute bulk diminished, but the whole form is altered and depauperated.
Huxley declares that the sense of uselessness is the severest shock which the human system can sustain, and that if persistently sustained, it results in atrophy of function.
We do not commonly conceive that the children are discouraged, thus, in the matter of piety; but the real fact is, that their better, higher nature, quite worn down by such treatment, sinks at last into a kind of atrophy, which is the essence of all discouragement.
Sitting also leaves back muscles weaker than watered-down coffee, since sitters don’t actively use and engage those muscles much throughout the day—it’s what’s called disuse atrophy in other words, you lose it if you don’t use it.