• synonyms


[uh-tree-zhuh, -zhee-uh]
noun Medicine/Medical.
  1. the congenital absence, or the pathological closure, of an opening, passage, or cavity.
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Origin of atresia

1800–10; < New Latin < Greek a- a-6 + três(is) perforation + -ia -ia
Related formsa·tre·sic [uh-tree-zik, -sik] /əˈtri zɪk, -sɪk/, a·tret·ic [uh-tret-ik] /əˈtrɛt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for atresia

Historical Examples

  • Perhaps in some cases of atresia there may be a secondary obliteration of a previously formed opening.

    The Anatomy of the Human Peritoneum and Abdominal Cavity

    George. S. Huntington

  • Atresia was in no instance great enough to account for the complete loss of enlarged follicles.

  • Atresia etiam consequitur vulnera et inflammationes morborum, ut diphtheritis et scarlatina.

  • Sometimes there is a complete closure or atresia of the lower part of the colon.

    The Mother and Her Child

    William S. Sadler

British Dictionary definitions for atresia


  1. absence of or unnatural narrowing of a body channel
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Word Origin

C19: New Latin, from Greek atrētos not perforated
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 atresia


"occlusion of a natural passage in the body," 1807, from Modern Latin atresia, from Greek atretos "not perforated," from a-, privative prefix, + tresis "perforation," from PIE *tere- "to rub, turn," with derivatives referring to boring and drilling (see throw (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

atresia in Medicine


(ə-trēzhə, -zhē-ə)
  1. The congenital absence or closure of a normal body orifice or tubular passage such as the anus, intestine, or external ear canal.
  2. The degeneration and resorption of one or more ovarian follicles before maturation.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.