noun Pathology.
  1. general ill health with emaciation, usually occurring in association with cancer or a chronic infectious disease.
Also ca·chex·y [kuh-kek-see] /kəˈkɛk si/

Origin of cachexia

1535–45; < Late Latin < Greek, equivalent to kak(ós) bad + héx(is) condition (hek-, variant stem of échein to have + -sis -sis) + -ia -ia
Related formsca·chec·tic [kuh-kek-tik] /kəˈkɛk tɪk/, ca·chec·ti·cal, ca·chex·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for cachexic


cachexy (kəˈkɛksɪ)

  1. a generally weakened condition of body or mind resulting from any debilitating chronic disease
Derived Formscachectic (kəˈkɛktɪk), adjective

Word Origin for cachexia

C16: from Late Latin from Greek kakhexia, from kakos bad + hexis condition, habit
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 cachexic



"bad general state of health," 1540s, from Latinized form of Greek kakhexia "bad habits," from kakos "bad" (see caco-) + -exia, related to exis "habit or state," from exein "to have, be in a condition," from PIE root *segh- "to hold, hold in one's power, to have" (see scheme (n.)). Related: cachexic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cachexic in Medicine


  1. Weight loss, wasting of muscle, loss of appetite, and general debility that can occur during a chronic disease.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

cachexic in Science


  1. Severe weight loss, anorexia, and general debility that occur as a result of chronic disease. Cachetic patients exhibit signs of malnutrition, including muscle wasting.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.