ap·​o·​plexy ˈa-pə-ˌplek-sē How to pronounce apoplexy (audio)
dated : stroke sense 5
The medical evidence showed conclusively that death was due to apoplexy.Arthur Conan Doyle
: gross hemorrhage into a cavity or into the substance of an organ
pituitary apoplexy
: a state of intense and almost uncontrollable anger
… he had irritated his superior into apoplexyKevin Patterson
… this latest attraction has sparked apoplexy among some environmentalists.Jayne Clark

Examples of apoplexy in a Sentence

Her speech caused apoplexy among the audience members.
Recent Examples on the Web But her appearance on the field with Mr. Kelce in Baltimore after the Chiefs beat the Ravens on Sunday, complete with a kiss and a hug, appears to have sent conservatives into a fit of apoplexy that may only grow in the run-up to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas Feb. 11. Jonathan Weisman, New York Times, 30 Jan. 2024 The administration’s apoplexy has brought us to the point of crisis. Noah Rothman, National Review, 18 Dec. 2023 There is a trick for liberals in reading the Journal’s Opinion section without having to summon the paramedics because of apoplexy. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 4 Sep. 2023 Never felt a single symptom, unless apoplexy is one of them. James Lileks, National Review, 17 Mar. 2022 Currently, the top cause of death globally is ischemic heart disease and the second is cerebral apoplexy (stroke). Billboard Japan, Billboard, 16 Apr. 2021 Giants fans in a state of apoplexy should know two things, one comforting, one not so much. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, 11 Dec. 2019 The mass cultural apoplexy in 2013 around the introduction of the cronut by Dominique Answel, a baker from New York, meanwhile, pretty much speaks for itself. Tim Martin, 1843, 13 June 2019 In fact, many policies that Sweden has today would send Bernie into apoplexy. WSJ, 25 Apr. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'apoplexy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English apoplexie, from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin apoplexia, from Greek apoplēxia, from apoplēssein to cripple by a stroke, from apo- + plēssein to strike — more at plaint

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of apoplexy was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near apoplexy

Cite this Entry

“Apoplexy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apoplexy. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ap·​o·​plexy ˈap-ə-ˌplek-sē How to pronounce apoplexy (audio)
plural apoplexies

Medical Definition


ap·​o·​plexy ˈap-ə-ˌplek-sē How to pronounce apoplexy (audio)
plural apoplexies
dated : stroke
In apoplexy or "stroke" … an artery in the brain either ruptures and bleeds or is blocked.Morris Fishbein, The Modern Family Health Guide
: copious hemorrhage into a cavity or into the substance of an organ
abdominal apoplexy
adrenal apoplexy

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