sickle cell anemia


: a chronic inherited anemia that occurs primarily in individuals of African, Mediterranean, or southwest Asian ancestry who are homozygous for the gene controlling hemoglobin S and that is characterized especially by episodic blocking of small blood vessels by sickle cells

called also sickle cell disease

Examples of sickle cell anemia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For heaven's sake, does Coulter even know about the classic trade-off, sickle cell anemia? Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 25 Aug. 2011 Blood products also help to treat chronic conditions such as sickle cell anemia. Benjamin Plackett, Discover Magazine, 9 Feb. 2023 Gene editors are prime options for curing these diseases, which range from sickle cell anemia to Huntington’s disease and hundreds of other severe conditions. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 3 Dec. 2020 His death, in a hospital, was caused by complications of sickle cell anemia, his brother Michael said. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 13 Dec. 2022 Over the next few years, similar maternal blood tests could detect hundreds of diseases caused by chromosome abnormalities or mutations, including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease, and genetic deafness and blindness. Amy Barth, Discover Magazine, 5 Jan. 2012 Since childhood, the chart-topping singer/songwriter has battled sickle cell anemia, a crippling, incurable disease that attacks the autoimmune system due to flawed hemoglobin cells. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 16 Nov. 2022 Scientists there have used the tool to treat dozens of people with sickle cell anemia and beta thalassemia—two common blood disorders. WIRED, 23 Sep. 2022 Consider the various malaria adaptations, which arose in the past 5,000 years, some of which still have major side effects such as sickle cell anemia in homozygotes. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 1 Jan. 2010 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1922, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sickle cell anemia was in 1922

Dictionary Entries Near sickle cell anemia

Cite this Entry

“Sickle cell anemia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

sickle-cell anemia

: a serious inherited disease in which small blood vessels become blocked with sickle cells and which occurs mostly in people of African, Mediterranean, or southwest Asian ancestry

Medical Definition

sickle cell anemia

variants also sickle cell disease
: a chronic anemia that occurs in individuals (as those of African or Mediterranean descent) who are homozygous for the gene controlling hemoglobin S and that is characterized by destruction of red blood cells and by episodic blocking of blood vessels by the adherence of sickle cells to the vascular endothelium which causes the serious complications of the disease (as organ failure)
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