[ kuh-rahy-zuh ]
/ kəˈraɪ zə /
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Pathology. acute inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nasal cavities; cold in the head.
Veterinary Pathology. a contagious disease of birds, especially poultry, characterized by the secretion of a thick mucus in the mouth and throat.
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Origin of coryza

1625–35; <Late Latin <Greek kóryza catarrh


co·ry·zal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is coryza?

Coryza is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nasal cavities. In birds, coryza is an infectious disease that causes a buildup of mucus in the mouth and throat.

Inflammation is a general medical term that refers to swelling, pain, tenderness, or any other irritation that results from the body fighting an illness. The mucous membrane is the inner lining of the nose, sinuses, and throat.

Symptoms of coryza include sneezing and mucus dripping out of the nose (commonly called a runny nose).

Coryza is not a disease itself. Instead it’s often considered to be a symptom of a non-serious disease. Coryza or acute coryza is sometimes used as a synonym for the common cold, a common disease that is usually the result of a mild viral infection. Sometimes coryza is the only symptom of a particularly mild case of the common cold.

In birds, especially poultry such as chickens, coryza, or infectious coryza, is a contagious disease that is a major concern. It can lead to death in about 20% of chickens and may otherwise lead to secondary infections. For animals that avoid dead and further infections, their growth may be stunted and their ability to lay eggs decreased. For farmers, who usually raise chickens to sell their meat or eggs, this disease can also hurt their profits.

Why is coryza important?

The first records of the word coryza come from around 1625. It ultimately comes from the Greek kóryza, meaning “catarrh.” Catarrh is an inflammation of a mucous membrane and an excessive secretion of mucus. Coryza is a specific kind of catarrh that happens in the nose or nasal cavities.

Neither coryza itself nor the common cold are typically considered to be serious diseases. Usually, the body can handle both of these conditions on its own, but there are many cold medicines that you can take to lessen their symptoms.

Did you know … ?

The average adult typically experiences two or three cases of the common cold every year, while children often experience twice that amount. Coryza recovery usually occurs within 7–10 days.

What are real-life examples of coryza?

This diagram shows the typical symptoms of a chicken suffering from coryza:



You are very unlikely to hear the word coryza used by anyone besides a doctor, medical student, or chicken farmer.

What other words are related to coryza?

Quiz yourself!

True or False?

Coryza is an inflammation and excessive secretion of mucus in the lungs.

How to use coryza in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for coryza

/ (kəˈraɪzə) /

acute inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose, with discharge of mucus; a head cold

Word Origin for coryza

C17: from Late Latin: catarrh, from Greek koruza
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

Medical definitions for coryza

[ kə-rīzə ]

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.