is·​che·​mia i-ˈskē-mē-ə How to pronounce ischemia (audio)
: deficient supply of blood to a body part (such as the heart or brain) that is due to obstruction of the inflow of arterial blood
ischemic adjective

Examples of ischemia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As for adults, Volkow notes a possible upside: Radio waves akin to cell-phone signals might be therapeutically useful for stimulating the brains of patients suffering from ischemia or stroke. Pamela Weintraub, Discover Magazine, 4 Jan. 2012 Mexican local news outlet, El Universal, reported that Wozniak had suffered a cerebrovascular (ischemia) accident. Gabrielle Rockson, Peoplemag, 9 Nov. 2023 This results in a lack of blood flow in the GI system, a problem known as intestinal ischemia. Elizabeth Pratt, Health, 30 June 2023 The British singer, who was 46 at the time of his death, died of cardiac arrhythmia, acute myocardia ischemia, and severe coronary artery atheroma and intraplaque hemorrhage, according to the certificate obtained by People. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 2 June 2023 Myocardial ischemia, meanwhile, is when reduced blood flow to a person's heart keeps the heart from getting enough oxygen, impeding its ability to properly pump blood, per the Mayo Clinic. Rachel Desantis, Peoplemag, 2 June 2023 McCabe says keeping the body alive from the brain stem down defeats warm ischemia, the restriction or loss of blood flow after conventional death. Dick Teresi, Discover Magazine, 19 Feb. 2012 Many of them suffer from what’s known as chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI), a form of peripheral artery disease that narrows people’s arteries. Mehdi Shishehbor, STAT, 28 Apr. 2023 The relative ischemia, or lack of blood flow, can have different effects. Anne R. Crecelius, Discover Magazine, 2 Jan. 2021 See More

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

Word History


New Latin ischaemia, from ischaemus styptic, from Greek ischaimos, from ischein to restrain (akin to Greek echein to hold) + haima blood — more at scheme entry 1

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ischemia was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near ischemia

Cite this Entry

“Ischemia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


variants or chiefly British ischaemia
: deficient supply of blood to a body part (as the heart or brain) that is due to obstruction of the inflow of arterial blood (as by the narrowing of arteries by spasm or disease)
ischemic adjective
or chiefly British ischaemic
ischemically adverb
or chiefly British ischaemically

More from Merriam-Webster on ischemia

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!