Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Pickwickian syndrome

play
noun Pick·wick·ian syndrome \(ˈ)pik-ˈwik-ē-ən-\

Medical Definition of Pickwickian syndrome

  1. :  obesity accompanied by somnolence and lethargy, hypoventilation, hypoxia, and secondary polycythemia



Biographical Note for pickwickian syndrome

Pickwick \ˈpik-ˌwik\play , Samuel, literary character. Pickwick is the title character in the novel The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836–37) by Charles Dickens. In the novel one of the characters, Joe, is described as a “fat and red-faced boy in a state of somnolence.” The term Pickwickian syndrome was first used by C. S. Burwell in an article on the syndrome in 1956. The name was chosen because Dickens's description was the first description of the syndrome found in literature.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Pickwickian syndrome? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to work hard

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin prompt oily angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ