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noun, plural rhex·es [rek-seez] /ˈrɛk siz/. Pathology.
  1. rupture, as of a blood vessel, organ, or cell.

Origin of rhexis

1375–1425; < New Latin < Greek rhêxis a breaking, cleft, derivative of rhēgnýnai to break, break loose; replacing late Middle English rixis (attested once) ≪ Greek, as above
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rhexis

Historical Examples

  • In these cases hemorrhage by rhexis is altogether more probable even when ruptured vessels cannot be demonstrated.

    A System of Practical Medicine By American Authors, Vol. II


  • It is supposed that in many such cases the hemorrhage is due to diapedesis, and not to rupture of a blood-vessel (rhexis).

British Dictionary definitions for rhexis


  1. med the rupture of an organ or blood vessel

Word Origin

C17: from Greek rhēxis a bursting
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

rhexis in Medicine


n. pl. rhex•es (rĕksēz)
  1. Bursting or rupture of an organ or vessel.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.