noun \ˈa-trə-fē\

medical : gradual loss of muscle or flesh usually because of disease or lack of use

plural at·ro·phies

Full Definition of ATROPHY

:  decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue; also :  arrested development or loss of a part or organ incidental to the normal development or life of an animal or plant
:  a wasting away or progressive decline <was not a solitude of atrophy, of negation, but of perpetual flowering — Willa Cather>
atro·phic \(ˌ)ā-ˈtrō-fik\ adjective
atrophy \ˈa-trə-fē, -ˌfī\ verb

Examples of ATROPHY

  1. The doctor is concerned about possible atrophy of the shoulder muscles.

Origin of ATROPHY

Late Latin atrophia, from Greek, from atrophos ill fed, from a- + trephein to nourish
First Known Use: 1601


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Decrease from previous normal size of the body or a part, cell, organ, or tissue. An organ or body part's cells may be reduced in number, size or both. Atrophy of some cells and organs is normal at certain points in the life cycle. Other causes include malnutrition, disease, disuse, injury, and hormone over- or underproduction.


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