[ at-l-ek-tuh-sis ]

  1. incomplete expansion of the lungs at birth, as from lack of breathing force.

  2. collapse of the lungs, as from bronchial obstruction.

Compare Meanings

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.

Origin of atelectasis

1855–60; <New Latin; ateliosis + Greek éktasis a stretching out, equivalent to ek- ec- + ta-, variant stem of teínein to stretch + -sis -sis

Other words from atelectasis

  • at·e·lec·tat·ic [at-l-ek-tat-ik], /ˌæt l ɛkˈtæt ɪk/, adjective

Words Nearby atelectasis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for atelectasis


/ (ˌætəˈlɛktəsɪs) /

  1. failure of the lungs to expand fully at birth

  2. collapse of the lung or a part of the lung, usually caused by bronchial obstruction

Origin of atelectasis

C19: New Latin, from Greek atelēs imperfect + ektasis extension

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