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[kuh n-jes-chuh n]
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  1. overcrowding; clogging: severe traffic congestion.
  2. an excessive or abnormal accumulation of blood or other fluid in a body part or blood vessel: pulmonary congestion.
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Origin of congestion

From the Latin word congestiō, dating back to 1585–95. See congest, -ion
Related formsnon·con·ges·tion, nounpre·con·ges·tion, nounsu·per·con·ges·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for congestion


  1. the state of being overcrowded, esp with with traffic or people
  2. the state of being overloaded or clogged with blood
  3. the state of being blocked with mucus
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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 congestion


early 15c., "action of gathering together," from Middle French congestion (14c.), from Latin congestionem (nominative congestio), noun of action from past participle stem of congerere (see congest). Medical sense is from 1630s; meaning "a crowding together of people, traffic, etc." is from 1883.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

congestion in Medicine


  1. The presence of an abnormal amount of fluid in a vessel or organ; especially excessive accumulation of blood, due either to increased afflux or to obstruction of return flow.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.