Definition of alopecia
: loss of hair, wool, or feathers
alopecicplay \-ˈpē-sik\ adjective
alopecia was our Word of the Day on 02/28/2007. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Doctors use "alopecia" to refer to various forms of hair loss, including "alopecia areata," a sudden loss of hair in patches that involves little or no inflammation. It may surprise you to learn that the word ultimately derives from "alōpēx," the Greek word for "fox," but the connection makes sense if you think of a fox who is afflicted with mange, a disease with symptoms that include, among other things, loss of hair. Middle English speakers borrowed the Latin word alopecia, which comes from "alōpekia," a Greek term that can be translated as "mange on foxes."
Origin and Etymology of alopecia
Middle English allopicia, from Latin alopecia, from Greek alōpekia, from alōpek-, alōpēx fox; akin to Armenian ałuēs fox, Sanskrit lopāśa
First Known Use: 14th century
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