phlegm

noun

1
: viscid mucus secreted in abnormal quantity in the respiratory passages
2
: the one of the four humors (see humor sense 2c) in ancient and medieval physiology that was believed to be cold and moist and to cause lethargy and dullness
3
a
: dull or apathetic coldness or indifference
b
: intrepid coolness or calm fortitude
phlegmy adjective

Examples of phlegm in a Sentence

He displayed remarkable phlegm in very dangerous conditions. a man of remarkable phlegm, never showing enthusiasm nor displeasure
Recent Examples on the Web For example, something as simple as coughing up phlegm is exponentially more difficult and exhausting for a quadriplegic than for most non-disabled people. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 What are the symptoms of active TB? Symptoms include a bad cough that lasts three or more weeks, pain in the chest and coughing up blood or phlegm. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 7 Feb. 2024 The way the seasons withered crops or provoked tree sap to flow might manifest in the body as yellow bile surging in the summer, and cold, wet phlegm dripping in the winter. Discover Magazine, 7 Nov. 2023 According to health officials, TB is easily spread in crowds or people living in crowded conditions and symptoms can include coughing that lasts at least two weeks, chest pain, coughing up blood or phlegm, weakness or fatigue, weight loss, chills, fever, night sweats and loss of appetite. Stepheny Price, Fox News, 18 Dec. 2023 He is called Allan, a name that, when spoken out loud, sort of sounds like an attempt to clear the phlegm from your throat. Vulture, 15 Dec. 2023 In adults, symptoms typically include a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, chest pain, or coughing up blood or phlegm, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 10 Nov. 2023 Symptoms of tuberculosis include chest pain and a persistent cough accompanied by blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs), the CDC says. Cara Lynn Shultz, Peoplemag, 14 Nov. 2023 This causes symptoms like hoarseness, voice changes, a lump sensation in the throat, cough, chronic throat clearing, excessive phlegm or mucus, and sore throat, Osborne said. Maggie O'Neill, Health, 16 Nov. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English fleume, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin phlegmat-, phlegma, from Greek, flame, inflammation, phlegm, from phlegein to burn — more at black entry 1

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of phlegm was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near phlegm

Cite this Entry

“Phlegm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phlegm. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

phlegm

noun
1
: thick mucus produced in abnormal quantity in the respiratory passages
2
a
: cold indifference
b
: calm fortitude
phlegmy adjective

Medical Definition

phlegm

noun
1
: viscid mucus secreted in abnormal quantity in the respiratory passages
2
: the one of the four humors (see humor sense 2) of ancient and medieval physiology that was believed to be cold and moist and to cause lethargy and dullness

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