• synonyms


  1. Medicine/Medical. faulty or inadequate nutrition or development.
  2. Pathology. any of a number of disorders characterized by weakening, degeneration, or abnormal development of muscle.
  3. Ecology. the state of being dystrophic.
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Also dys·tro·phi·a [dih-stroh-fee-uh] /dɪˈstroʊ fi ə/.

Origin of dystrophy

From the New Latin word dystrophia, dating back to 1885–90. See dys-, -trophy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for dystrophy


dystrophia (dɪˈstrəʊfɪə)

  1. any of various bodily disorders, characterized by wasting of tissuesSee also muscular dystrophy
  2. ecology a condition of lake water when it is too acidic and poor in oxygen to support life, resulting from excessive humus content
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Derived Formsdystrophic (dɪsˈtrɒfɪk), adjective

Word Origin for dystrophy

C19: New Latin dystrophia, from dys- + Greek trophē food
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 dystrophy


also distrophy, "defective nutrition," 1858, from Modern Latin dystrophia, distrophia, from Greek dys- "hard, bad, ill" (see dys-) + trophe "nourishment" (see -trophy). Related: Dystrophic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dystrophy in Medicine


  1. A degenerative disorder caused by inadequate or defective nutrition.
  2. Any of several disorders, especially muscular dystrophy, in which the muscles weaken and atrophy.
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Related formsdys•trophic (dĭ-strŏfĭk, -strōfĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.