em·​phy·​se·​ma | \ ˌem(p)-fə-ˈzē-mə, -ˈsē- \

Definition of emphysema

: a condition characterized by air-filled expansions of body tissues specifically : a condition of the lung marked by abnormal enlargement of the alveoli with loss of pulmonary elasticity that is characterized especially by shortness of breath and may lead to impairment of heart action

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Other Words from emphysema

emphysematous \ ˌem(p)-​fə-​ˈze-​mə-​təs , -​ˈse-​, -​ˈzē-​, -​ˈsē-​ \ adjective
emphysemic \ ˌem(p)-​fə-​ˈzē-​mik , -​ˈsē-​ \ adjective

Examples of emphysema in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His main outings are trips to the VA hospital in Salt Lake City for cortisone shots in his sore shoulders and checkups for emphysema and diabetes. Paul Overberg, WSJ, "The Loneliest Generation: Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone," 11 Dec. 2018 Russell won reelection in 1966 and died of emphysema in 1971, thus passing from the scene before the tides of racial realignment swept down ballot in the 1970s and ’80s. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The fight over renaming the Russell Senate Office Building after John McCain, explained," 29 Aug. 2018 Ecker’s father, at 89, requires full-time oxygen for emphysema and had contracted pneumonia. Lauran Neergaard, The Seattle Times, "AP-NORC Poll: Many caregivers neglecting their own health," 15 Oct. 2018 Emanuel said that 86 percent of the costs in the health-care system come from chronic diseases such as heart failure, diabetes, asthma, cancer and emphysema. Bob Fernandez, Philly.com, "Accolade, with 500 employees in Plymouth Meeting, seeks to boldly cut health costs for big companies," 12 July 2018 My mom, who is 79, has emphysema that keeps her on oxygen and bedridden nearly 24 hours a day. Jill Gleeson, Woman's Day, "My Brother Died of an Overdose at 43," 6 Dec. 2016 The Times analysis found spikes in deaths from severe infections, diabetes, pneumonia, and breathing disorders such as emphysema. Anchorage Daily News, "Study: Puerto Rican death toll from Hurricane Maria 73 times official tally," 29 May 2018 More than 3 million Americans have been diagnosed with emphysema, a progressive, incurable disease usually caused by smoking. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Emphysema patients get new option as FDA approves lung valves studied at Temple," 29 June 2018 Our elderly would face more bronchitis and emphysema. Rob Jackson, Scientific American, "Relaxing Vehicle-Efficiency Standards Is a Truly Dangerous Idea," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emphysema.' 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 emphysema

circa 1587, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for emphysema

New Latin, from Greek emphysēma, from emphysan to inflate, from em- en- entry 2 + physan to blow, from physa breath — more at pustule

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Statistics for emphysema

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for emphysema

The first known use of emphysema was circa 1587

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English Language Learners Definition of emphysema

medical : a disease in which the lungs become stretched and breathing becomes difficult


em·​phy·​se·​ma | \ ˌem-fə-ˈzē-mə, -ˈsē-mə\

Kids Definition of emphysema

: a disease in which the lungs become stretched and inefficient


em·​phy·​se·​ma | \ ˌem(p)-fə-ˈzē-mə, -ˈsē- \

Medical Definition of emphysema

: a condition characterized by air-filled expansions in interstitial or subcutaneous tissues specifically : a condition of the lung that is marked by distension and eventual rupture of the alveoli with progressive loss of pulmonary elasticity, that is accompanied by shortness of breath with or without cough, and that may lead to impairment of heart action

Other Words from emphysema

emphysematous \ -​ˈzem-​ət-​əs , -​ˈsem-​ , -​ˈzēm-​ , -​ˈsēm-​ \ adjective
emphysemic \ -​ˈzē-​mik , -​ˈsē-​ \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on emphysema

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with emphysema

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about emphysema

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