asthma

noun
asth·​ma | \ˈaz-mə, British ˈas-\

Definition of asthma 

: a chronic lung disorder that is marked by recurring episodes of airway obstruction (as from bronchospasm) manifested by labored breathing accompanied especially by wheezing and coughing and by a sense of constriction in the chest, and that is triggered by hyperreactivity to various stimuli (such as allergens or rapid change in air temperature)

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Other Words from asthma

asthmatic \ az-​ˈma-​tik , British  as-​ \ adjective or noun
asthmatically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of asthma in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For instance, in the past few years, researchers have learned that the genetic variants that can contribute to asthma in white children aren’t the same for African-American children. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Genetics has learned a ton — mostly about white people. That’s a problem.," 27 Oct. 2018 That could be related to asthma or chronic nasal congestion (both of which may narrow and irritates your airways), large tonsils, or excess weight in certain areas around the upper airways. Korin Miller, SELF, "Houston Astros Pitcher Josh James Discovered His 'Laziness' Was Actually a Symptom of Sleep Apnea," 19 Oct. 2018 Such fumes have been found to increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and asthma. Adrienne Bernhard, WSJ, "Leaf Blowers Are Loud, Ugly and Dangerous," 18 Oct. 2018 To determine what effect vaporizing might have, Thickett and his colleagues extracted macrophages from lung tissue samples from eight non-smokers who had never had asthma or COPD. Fox News, "E-cigarette vapor tied to changes in lung cells," 15 Aug. 2018 Laze can cause irritations of the skin, eyes and lungs, and those suffering from asthma or emphysema may be particularly vulnerable. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Hawaii on edge as lava reaches power plant: 'No one has faced this before'," 22 May 2018 These gases can be harmful to breathe, especially for people already suffering from asthma and emphysema. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The Kilauea volcano summit exploded, sending a huge ash plume into the air," 17 May 2018 Rolling back federal clean car standards, as the Trump administration and Pruitt moved to do earlier this year — will potentially threaten the health of millions who already suffer from asthma. Agnes M. Torres Rivera, Teen Vogue, "Hurricane Maria Made Me A Climate Change Refugee," 7 May 2018 The alert means that air pollution concentrations could be unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or lung diseases and the elderly. Joseph A. Gambardello, Philly.com, "Heat today could match or break a record in Philly," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'asthma.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of asthma

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for asthma

Middle English asma, borrowed from Medieval Latin asma, asthma, borrowed from Greek ásthma "panting, shortness of breath, asthma (as a medical condition)," of uncertain origin

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Statistics for asthma

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for asthma

The first known use of asthma was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for asthma

asthma

noun

English Language Learners Definition of asthma

medical : a physical condition that makes it difficult for someone to breathe

asthma

noun
asth·​ma | \ˈaz-mə \

Kids Definition of asthma

: a lung disorder that causes periods of wheezing, coughing, and difficulty with breathing

asthma

noun
asth·​ma | \ˈaz-mə \

Medical Definition of asthma 

: a chronic lung disorder that is marked by recurring episodes of airway obstruction (as from bronchospasm) manifested by labored breathing accompanied especially by wheezing and coughing and by a sense of constriction in the chest, and that is triggered by hyperreactivity to various stimuli (as allergens or rapid change in air temperature)

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