Definition of hypertrophy
- cardiac hypertrophy
- economic hypertrophy
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When the prefix hyper-, "above, beyond", is joined to -trophy, we get the opposite of atrophy. An organ or part becomes hypertrophic when it grows so extremely that its function is affected. Muscle hypertrophy is common in men who do strength training, and is often harmless; but extreme muscle hypertrophy generally involves taking steroids, which can do great damage to the body. Hypertrophy of the heart sounds as if it might be healthy, but instead it's usually a bad sign. As the example sentence shows, hypertrophy, like atrophy, can be used in nonmedical ways as well.
First Known Use: 1834See Words from the same year
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hypertrophy
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