em·​bo·​lism | \ˈem-bə-ˌli-zəm \

Definition of embolism 

1 : the insertion of one or more days in a calendar : intercalation

2a : the sudden obstruction of a blood vessel by an embolus

b : embolus

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Other Words from embolism

embolismic \ ˌem-​bə-​ˈliz-​mik \ adjective

Examples of embolism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Doctors at Baylor Medical Center diagnosed her with anoxic brain damage and an acute embolism. Amanda Watts, CNN, "American Airlines sued after bride returning from honeymoon has medical emergency on flight and later dies," 27 Apr. 2018 In Feldstein’s case the autopsy showed pneumonia, leg deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. Sandy Bauers, Philly.com, "5 Questions: Lessons from the early death of Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein," 6 Apr. 2018 There was some serious backlash against the Pill in 1970, based on concerns about safety and serious side effects, like embolisms and heart attacks. Carolyn Todd, Allure, "The History and Evolution of Birth Control in America," 12 July 2018 Following the baby’s delivery, Williams had a number of health issues, including a pulmonary embolism and a hematoma, which led to her having multiple surgeries. Cady Lang, Time, "Serena Williams on Heading to the Wimbledon Final: 'It's Not Inevitable For Me to Be Playing Like This'," 12 July 2018 Unfortunately, even after identifying her pulmonary embolism, the complications didn't end there. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Serena Williams Reveals More Terrifying Details of Her Labor: ‘It Was a Whole New Kind of Fear’," 2 May 2018 Her cause of death was listed as acute massive pulmonary embolism and cardiogenic shock, the lawsuit states. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Family suing American Airlines over death of 25-year-old woman," 26 Apr. 2018 Intense coughing spells sparked by the pulmonary embolism would cause her c-section wounds to pop open, leading to a return to the operating room. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Serena Williams Had Emergency C-Section and Health Complications After Daughter's Birth," 10 Jan. 2018 After undergoing an emergency C-section, Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism that led to various complications that slowed her recovery. Sam Farmer, courant.com, "Humble Kerber Ends Serena's Comeback Trail In Wimbledon Final," 14 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of embolism

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for embolism

Middle English embolisme, from Medieval Latin embolismus, from Greek embol- (from emballein to insert, intercalate) — more at emblem

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Statistics for embolism

Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for embolism

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

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More Definitions for embolism


em·​bo·​lism | \ˈem-bə-ˌliz-əm \

Medical Definition of embolism 

1 : the sudden obstruction of a blood vessel by an embolus

2 : embolus

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More from Merriam-Webster on embolism

See words that rhyme with embolism

Spanish Central: Translation of embolism

Britannica English: Translation of embolism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about embolism

Comments on embolism

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by force of circumstances

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