asthma

noun
asth·​ma | \ ˈaz-mə How to pronounce asthma (audio) , 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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from asthma

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

Examples of asthma in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Purdue University researchers who did the Scientific Reports study wanted to test some new ways to deal with it in low-income communities that suffer disproportionately from asthma linked to cockroach allergens. Brian Resnick, Vox, "One big reason you can’t get rid of cockroaches," 3 July 2019 In Denver, people in the lower-income neighborhoods of Globeville, Elyria and Swansea have suffered from asthma, cancer and heart-lung ailments — possibly related to air pollution. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Suncor oil refinery operators hit by Colorado health department for emitting toxic gas," 1 July 2019 The particles, about 1/30th of the diameter of a human hair, penetrate deeply into the lungs to cause coughing, chest pain and asthma attacks. CBS News, "Smoke from wildfires increases health risks for millions of Americans," 25 June 2019 Ashley, who suffered from asthma, was pronounced dead at a hospital, according to the Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner’s office. Maya Lau, latimes.com, "L.A. County to pay $3 million to family who says failed 911 calls led to girl's death," 4 June 2019 The Los Angeles Times reports that some doctors may have been giving children medical exemptions for questionable purposes, such as asthma. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "Is Jessica Biel Anti-Vaxx?," 15 June 2019 Such exposure may raise the risk of asthma and cancer, as well as derail the normal development of a child’s body and brain. oregonlive.com, "Son nagged by golfing dad’s death from a rare cancer; were pesticides at fault?," 15 June 2019 People with increased health risks such as asthma, COPD, pregnant women and small children should limit their time outdoors, especially in smokey conditions. Grace Oldham, azcentral, "Coldwater Fire crews work toward containment along Highway 87; expect travel delays in area," 10 June 2019 Health studies have shown that children who live near heavy traffic, and are exposed to particulate pollution from heavy trucks and diesel engines, develop higher incidences of health problems such as asthma. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Your online shopping is polluting this small town," 20 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about asthma

Statistics for asthma

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for asthma

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce asthma (audio) \

Kids Definition of asthma

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

asthma

noun
asth·​ma | \ ˈaz-mə How to pronounce asthma (audio) \

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)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on asthma

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with asthma

Spanish Central: Translation of asthma

Nglish: Translation of asthma for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of asthma for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about asthma

Comments on asthma

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!