em·​bo·​lism | \ ˈem-bə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce embolism (audio) \
plural embolisms

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

Other Words from embolism

embolismic \ ˌem-​bə-​ˈliz-​mik How to pronounce embolism (audio) \ adjective

Examples of embolism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Doctors there got his blood sugar under control and saved him after a pulmonary embolism in 2008. Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2021 The infection also increased patients’ risk for arrhythmia, acute kidney injury, pulmonary embolism and more. Gabriela Miranda, USA TODAY, 27 Aug. 2021 Particularly for elderly patients, if hospitals delay orthopedic surgeries, like hip replacements, the risk of blood clotting, pulmonary embolism, and morbidity goes up. Claudia López Lloreda, STAT, 16 Aug. 2021 Her father died of a pulmonary embolism during a 2006 family vacation in Athens, Greece, when Heather Mack was just 10. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 2 Nov. 2021 Some experts will recommend lifelong anticoagulation for a single life-threatening event, such as a pulmonary embolism. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 1 Nov. 2021 The case described the incidence cardiopulmonary cement embolism after such vertebral body procedures as 0% to 23%. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 This was considered to be a cement embolism, because the piece had broken its origin in the man’s spine, entered his blood circulation through a vein and traveled through the venous system to his heart. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 That works out to an extra 5.8 cases of heart-failure and 2.8 cases of pulmonary embolism for every 1,000 Covid patients who were never hospitalized. BostonGlobe.com, 7 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for embolism

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

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Last Updated

24 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Embolism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embolism. Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for embolism


em·​bo·​lism | \ ˈem-bə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce embolism (audio) \

Medical Definition of embolism

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

More from Merriam-Webster on embolism

Britannica English: Translation of embolism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about embolism


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