cy·​a·​no·​sis ˌsī-ə-ˈnō-səs How to pronounce cyanosis (audio)
: a bluish or purplish discoloration (as of skin) due to deficient oxygenation of the blood

Examples of cyanosis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Overdoses can cause stupor, changes in pupil size, clammy skin, cyanosis, coma and respiratory failure leading to death. Ron Wood, Arkansas Online, 16 Sep. 2023 Blue discoloration of skin or mucous membranes is called cyanosis. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 10 July 2023 Symptoms to look out for include tightness in the chest, persistent cough, extreme fatigue and weakness, cyanosis (when your nails, skin or whites of your eyes turn blue), shortness of breath even when resting, confusion and irrational behavior. Marisa Sullivan, Peoplemag, 27 Apr. 2023 She was covered in the white powder, was pulseless, apneic, and had dried blood in her nostrils; her lips and tongue showed signs of cyanosis, the bluish discoloration that happens, usually around the lips and fingertips, because of a lack of oxygen in the blood. Melissa Chadburn, The New York Review of Books, 27 Aug. 2020 The first thing that came to Fishbein’s mind was cyanosis — not getting enough oxygen to the tissues. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, 15 Oct. 2020 Franklin suspects Fredericks had congenital pulmonic stenosis, a narrowing of the valve that leads from the heart to the lungs, causing cyanosis or blueness. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, 2 Sep. 2020 Other signs can include headache, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, cyanosis, convulsions, and coma. CBS News, 18 Sep. 2019 Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, ringing ears, sleep problems, breathlessness, palpitations, fatigue, and cyanosis, which turns lips, gums, and hands purplish blue. Xing Liu, Science Magazine, 12 Sep. 2019 See More

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

Word History


New Latin, from Greek kyanōsis dark blue color, from kyanos

First Known Use

1834, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cyanosis was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near cyanosis

Cite this Entry

“Cyanosis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


cy·​a·​no·​sis ˌsī-ə-ˈnō-səs How to pronounce cyanosis (audio)
plural cyanoses -ˌsēz How to pronounce cyanosis (audio)
: a bluish or purplish discoloration (as of skin) due to deficient oxygenation of the blood
cyanotic adjective

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