phthi·​sis | \ ˈthī-səs How to pronounce phthisis (audio) , ˈtī-, ˈthi-, ˈti- How to pronounce phthisis (audio) \
plural phthises\ ˈthī-​ˌsēz How to pronounce phthisis (audio) , ˈtī-​ , ˈthi-​ , ˈti-​ \

Definition of phthisis

: a progressively wasting or consumptive condition especially : pulmonary tuberculosis

Examples of phthisis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web It has been documented in humans for thousands of years under various names—including consumption, phthisis and the White Plague—and was the leading infectious killer in the world (above HIV) until 2020, when Covid-19 claimed the top spot. Robert Hart, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 Doctors like the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates noted tuberculosis, or phthisis (from the Greek phthinein for wasting), appeared to be most fatal in young adults. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 10 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phthisis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of phthisis

1526, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phthisis

Latin, from Greek, from phthinein to waste away; akin to Sanskrit kṣiṇoti he destroys

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The first known use of phthisis was in 1526

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Cite this Entry

“Phthisis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for phthisis


phthi·​sis | \ ˈt(h)ī-səs How to pronounce phthisis (audio) , ˈt(h)is-əs How to pronounce phthisis (audio) \
plural phthises\ ˈt(h)ī-​ˌsēz How to pronounce phthisis (audio) , ˈt(h)is-​ˌēz How to pronounce phthisis (audio) \

Medical Definition of phthisis

: a progressively wasting or consumptive condition especially : pulmonary tuberculosis

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