Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A pathological condition of the lungs marked by an abnormal increase in the size of the air spaces, resulting in labored breathing and an increased susceptibility to infection. It can be caused by irreversible expansion of the alveoli or by the destruction of alveolar walls.
  • noun An abnormal distension of body tissues caused by retention of air.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In pathology, distention with air or other gases.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Med.) A swelling produced by gas or air diffused in the cellular tissue.
  • noun (Med.) a common disease of the lungs in which the air cells are distended and their partition walls ruptured by an abnormal pressure of the air contained in them.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun pathology An abnormal accumulation of air in tissues, most commonly the lungs.
  • noun medicine Pulmonary emphysema, a chronic lung disease.

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

  • noun an abnormal condition of the lungs marked by decreased respiratory function; associated with smoking or chronic bronchitis or old age

Etymologies

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

[Greek emphūsēma, inflation, from emphūsān, to blow in : en-, in; see en– + phūsān, to blow (from phūsa, bellows, bladder).]

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