caisson disease


: decompression sickness

Note: The name caisson disease stems from the occurrence of decompression sickness in individuals working on tunnel and bridge construction in underwater caissons filled with compressed air.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Readers will be shocked to learn that Washington Roebling contracted caisson disease soon after construction began, forcing him to work from his bed while his wife worked at the site. Michael Sangiacomo,, 1 May 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of caisson disease was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near caisson disease

Cite this Entry

“Caisson disease.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

caisson disease


Medical Definition

caisson disease

cais·​son disease
ˈkā-ˌsän-, ˈkās-ᵊn-; British often kə-ˈsün-

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