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[em-pee-ee-muh, -pahy-] /ˌɛm piˈi mə, -paɪ-/
noun, Pathology.
a collection of pus in a body cavity, especially the pleural cavity.
Also called pyothorax.
Origin of empyema
1605-15; < Late Latin < Greek empýēma abscess, equivalent to em- em-2 + pyē- (variant stem of pyeîn to suppurate, akin to pýon, pýos pus) + -ma noun suffix denoting result of action
Related forms
empyemic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for empyema


noun (pl) -emata (-ˈiːmətə), -emas
a collection of pus in a body cavity, esp in the chest
Derived Forms
empyemic, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin, from Greek empuēma abscess, from empuein to suppurate, from puon pus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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empyema in Medicine

empyema em·py·e·ma (ěm'pī-ē'mə)
n. pl. em·py·e·ma·ta (-mə-tə)
The presence of pus in a body cavity, especially the pleural cavity.

em'py·e'mic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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