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See more synonyms for apoplexy on Thesaurus.com
  1. stroke1(def 6).
  2. a sudden, usually marked loss of bodily function due to rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel.
  3. a hemorrhage into an organ cavity or tissue.
  4. a state of extreme anger.
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Origin of apoplexy

1350–1400; Middle English apoplexie < Late Latin < Greek, equivalent to apóplēkt(os) (see apoplectic) + -ia -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for apoplexy

stroke, occlusion, seizure, thrombosis

Examples from the Web for apoplexy

Historical Examples of apoplexy

  • But apoplexy may kill one in two hours, and aneurism only takes two minutes.

    The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete

    Emile Zola

  • There was blood in his eyes; he looked fit to drop with apoplexy.

  • It's an apoplexy ye'll be contacting if ye give way to heat like this.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • A surgeon was called in, who at once perceived that the attack was one of apoplexy.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan

    Charles James Lever

  • If there is any doubt on this point always treat for apoplexy.

    Boy Scouts Handbook

    Boy Scouts of America

British Dictionary definitions for apoplexy


  1. sudden loss of consciousness, often followed by paralysis, caused by rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel in the brain
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Word Origin for apoplexy

C14: from Old French apoplexie, from Late Latin apoplēxia, from Greek: from apoplēssein to cripple by a stroke, from plēssein to strike
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

Word Origin and History for apoplexy


late 14c., "sudden fit of paralysis and dizziness," from Old French apoplexie or directly from Late Latin apoplexia, from Greek apoplexia, from apoplessein "to strike down and incapacitate," from apo- "off" (see apo-), in this case probably an intensive prefix, + plessein "hit" (cf. plague (n.), also with a root sense of "stricken"). The Latin translation, sideratio, means "disease caused by a constellation."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

apoplexy in Medicine


  1. Sudden impairment of neurological function, especially from a cerebral hemorrhage; a stroke.
  2. An effusion of blood into a tissue or organ.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.