atelectasis

noun

at·​el·​ec·​ta·​sis ˌa-tə-ˈlek-tə-səs How to pronounce atelectasis (audio)
plural atelectases ˌa-tə-ˈlek-tə-ˌsēz How to pronounce atelectasis (audio)
: collapse of the expanded lung
also : defective expansion of the pulmonary alveoli at birth

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from New Latin (in the phrase atelectasis pulmonum "incomplete dilatation of the lungs"), from Greek atelḗs "incomplete, unsuccessful" (from a- a- entry 2 + -telēs, adjective derivative of télos "fulfillment, completion, goal") + New Latin ectasis "expansion of a hollow or tubular organ, dilatation," borrowed from Greek éktasis "stretching out, extension" (action noun from ekteínein "to stretch out, extend"), from ek- ec- + tásis "stretching, tension" — more at telos, tenant entry 1

Note: The term was introduced by the German physician Eduard Jörg in De morbo pulmonum organico ex respiratione neonatorum imperfecta orto (Leipzig, 1832).

First Known Use

1837, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of atelectasis was in 1837

Dictionary Entries Near atelectasis

Cite this Entry

“Atelectasis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atelectasis. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

atelectasis

noun
at·​el·​ec·​ta·​sis ˌat-ᵊl-ˈek-tə-səs How to pronounce atelectasis (audio)
plural atelectases -ˌsēz How to pronounce atelectasis (audio)
: collapse of the expanded lung
also : defective expansion of the pulmonary alveoli at birth
atelectatic adjective

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