eclamp·​sia i-ˈklam(p)-sē-ə How to pronounce eclampsia (audio)
: a convulsive state
especially : an attack of convulsions during pregnancy or childbirth
eclamptic adjective

Examples of eclampsia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The complications, known as severe maternal morbidity, include unexpected and life-threatening events such as heart attacks, dangerously high blood pressure known as eclampsia, and extreme situations requiring life-saving interventions including the use of ventilators. Globe Staff,, 12 July 2023 Her autopsy showed evidence of eclampsia, but many don't know about this dangerous condition. Emily Nadal, Parents, 12 July 2023 Though eclampsia can occur with or without the presence of preeclampsia symptoms, addressing signs of preeclampsia if they are identified is vital to preventing more potentially dangerous outcomes from eclampsia. Emily Nadal, Parents, 22 June 2023 Felix is familiar with eclampsia; she was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia before giving birth to her daughter, Camryn, in 2018. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, 16 June 2023 According to the autopsy, possible complications contributing to Bowie’s death included respiratory distress and eclampsia—seizures brought on by preeclampsia, a high blood pressure disorder that can occur during pregnancy. Allyson Felix, Time, 15 June 2023 Here's what to know about some serious and potentially life-threatening complications in labor: What is eclampsia? Sara Moniuszko, CBS News, 13 June 2023 Pregnant women over the age of 35 are at a higher risk of pre-eclampsia. Amanda Musa, CNN, 7 Apr. 2023 Hyperemesis is also linked with a higher risk of pregnancy complications including preterm birth, pre-eclampsia and blood clots. Alice Callahan, New York Times, 14 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, from Greek éklampsis "violent onset, sudden development" (from eklámpein "to shine out, burst forth violently"—from ek- ec- + lámpein "to give light, shine"— + -sis -sis) + New Latin -ia -ia entry 1 — more at lamp

Note: In reference to a complication of pregnancy, short for New Latin eclampsia parturientium "convulsions of those giving birth."

First Known Use

circa 1860, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of eclampsia was circa 1860

Dictionary Entries Near eclampsia

Cite this Entry

“Eclampsia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


ec·​lamp·​sia i-ˈklam(p)-sē-ə, e- How to pronounce eclampsia (audio)
: a convulsive state : an attack of convulsions: as
: convulsions or coma late in pregnancy in an individual affected with preeclampsia compare toxemia of pregnancy
: a condition comparable to milk fever of cows occurring in domestic animals (as dogs and cats)
eclamptic adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on eclampsia

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