Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

asthma

[az-muh, as-]
See more synonyms for asthma on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. Pathology. a paroxysmal, often allergic disorder of respiration, characterized by bronchospasm, wheezing, and difficulty in expiration, often accompanied by coughing and a feeling of constriction in the chest.
Show More

Origin of asthma

1350–1400; Middle English < Greek: a panting (akin to aázein to breathe hard); replacing Middle English asma < Medieval Latin < Greek ásthma
Also called bronchial asthma.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for asthma

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for asthma

asthma

noun
  1. a respiratory disorder, often of allergic origin, characterized by difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and a sense of constriction in the chest
Show More

Word Origin

C14: from Greek: laborious breathing, from azein to breathe hard
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 asthma

n.

late 14c. asma, asma, from Latin asthma, from Greek asthma "short breath, a panting," from azein "breathe hard," probably related to anemos "wind." The -th- was restored in English 16c.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

asthma in Medicine

asthma

(ăzmə, ăs-)
n.
  1. Bronchial asthma.
Show More
Related formsasth•matic (-mătĭk) adj. n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

asthma in Science

asthma

[ăzmə]
  1. A common inflammatory disease of the lungs characterized by episodic airway obstruction caused by extensive narrowing of the bronchi and bronchioles. The narrowing is caused by spasm of smooth muscle, edema of the mucosa, and the presence of mucus in the airway resulting from an immunologic reaction that can be induced by allergies, irritants, infection, stress, and other factors in a genetically predisposed individual. Common symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

asthma in Culture

asthma

[(az-muh)]

A chronic disease of the respiratory system, characterized by sudden, recurring attacks of difficult breathing, wheezing, and coughing. During an attack, the bronchial tubes go into spasms, becoming narrower and less able to move air into the lungs. Various substances to which the sufferer has an allergy, such as animal hair, dust, pollen, or certain foods, can trigger an attack.

Show More
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.