noun at·ro·phy \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


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