rhab·​do·​my·​ol·​y·​sis ˌrab-dō-mī-ˈä-lə-səs How to pronounce rhabdomyolysis (audio)
: the destruction or degeneration of muscle tissue (as from traumatic injury, excessive exertion, or stroke) accompanied by the release of breakdown products into the bloodstream and sometimes leading to acute renal failure

Examples of rhabdomyolysis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That patient was rushed to the emergency room and had part of her small bowel removed after being diagnosed with a potentially fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 13 July 2023 In rare cases, people mistake rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo) for DOMS. Lauren Del Turco, Health, 20 Nov. 2023 Heath is looking for redemption after a tumultuous offseason that saw head coach John Harrell resign following an investigation into a workout that left many Heath players hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis. Sasha Richie, Dallas News, 26 Aug. 2023 In March, former head coach John Harrell resigned in the aftermath of a January workout that required athletes to do 400 push-ups and left many players hospitalized, some with rhabdomyolysis. Lia Assimakopoulos, Dallas News, 16 Aug. 2023 Multiple players and parents said there were no water or water breaks available during the workout, and multiple student-athletes were diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, 31 July 2023 Severe heat exhaustion can bring on rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle tissues that can cause irregular heart rhythms, seizures, and acute kidney damage. Aryn Baker, Time, 18 July 2023 McCormick was one of three UO players hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis following overly strenuous workouts in January 2017 and missed nearly all of the 2018-21 seasons due to a broken left ankle that required three surgeries and a torn right Achilles. oregonlive, 14 Dec. 2022 The Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association says the incidence of injuries and deaths related to exertional heat illness, exertional rhabdomyolysis, and cardiorespiratory failure has increased significantly in college athletes in recent years. Dallas News, 11 Jan. 2023

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

Word History


rhabdo- + myo- + -lysis

Note: The term was introduced by Drummond H. Bowden et al., "Acute recurrent rhabdomyolysis (paroxysmal myohaemoglobinuria)," Medicine, vol. 35, issue 4 (December, 1956), pp. 335-54.

First Known Use

1956, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rhabdomyolysis was in 1956

Dictionary Entries Near rhabdomyolysis

Cite this Entry

“Rhabdomyolysis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhabdomyolysis. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


rhab·​do·​my·​ol·​y·​sis ˌrab-dō-mī-ˈäl-ə-səs How to pronounce rhabdomyolysis (audio)
plural rhabdomyolyses -ˌsēz How to pronounce rhabdomyolysis (audio)
: the destruction or degeneration of skeletal muscle tissue (as from traumatic injury, excessive exertion, or stroke) that is accompanied by the release of muscle cell contents (as myoglobin and potassium) into the bloodstream resulting in hypovolemia, hyperkalemia, and sometimes acute renal failure
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