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!
Recent Examples of alopecia from the Web
The four words Howard spelled on Thursday: alopecia: (the loss of hair, wool or feathers; baldness)
From a geneticist’s point of view, male pattern baldness – also known as androgenic alopecia – is a tempting target.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alopecia'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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 centurySee Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up alopecia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).