(formerly) edema.
an infectious disease of fishes, characterized by a swollen, spongelike body and protruding scales, caused by a variety of the bacterium Pseudomonas punctata.

Origin of dropsy

1250–1300; Middle English drop(e)sie, aphetic variant of ydropesie < Old French < Medieval Latin (h)ydrōpisīa, equivalent to Latin hydrōpis(is) (< Greek hydrōpi-, stem of hýdrōps dropsy (hydr- hydr-1 + -ōpsi- < ?) + -sis -sis) + -ia -y3
Related formsdrop·sied [drop-seed] /ˈdrɒp sid/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of dropsy

British Dictionary definitions for dropsy



pathol a condition characterized by an accumulation of watery fluid in the tissues or in a body cavity
slang a tip or bribe
Derived Formsdropsical (ˈdrɒpsɪkəl) or dropsied, adjectivedropsically, adverb

Word Origin for dropsy

C13: shortened from ydropesie, from Latin hydrōpisis, from Greek hudrōps, from hudōr water
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 dropsy

late 13c., a shortening of Middle English ydropsy, from Old French idropsie, from Latin hydropsis, from Greek hydrops (genitive hydropos) "dropsy," from hydor "water" (see water (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for dropsy




Edema. No longer in technical use.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.