or oe·de·ma


noun, plural e·de·mas, e·de·ma·ta [ih-dee-muh-tuh] /ɪˈdi mə tə/. Pathology.

effusion of serous fluid into the interstices of cells in tissue spaces or into body cavities.
Plant Pathology.
  1. a small surface swelling of plant parts, caused by excessive moisture.
  2. any disease so characterized.

Origin of edema

1490–1500; < New Latin oedēma < Greek oídēma a swelling, equivalent to oidē- (variant stem of oideîn to swell) + -ma noun suffix
Related formse·dem·a·tous [ih-dem-uh-tuh s, ih-dee-muh-] /ɪˈdɛm ə təs, ɪˈdi mə-/, e·dem·a·tose [ih-dem-uh-tohs, ih-dee-muh-] /ɪˈdɛm əˌtoʊs, ɪˈdi mə-/, adjectivepseu·do·e·de·ma, noun, plural pseu·do·e·de·ma·ta.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for edema

Historical Examples of edema

  • There is edema of the ureal tract, apparently from transudation of serum.



  • Pneumonia is a frequent complication and edema a terminal event.

    Scurvy Past and Present

    Alfred Fabian Hess

  • On the first two occasions, one eye was closed completely by the edema.


    James J. Walsh

  • It is used in certain cases of nephritis when edema is present.

    Dietetics for Nurses

    Fairfax T. Proudfit

  • The patient had three convulsions and died with edema of lungs about 30 hours after the attack of ventricular fibrillation.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension:

    Louis Marshall Warfield

British Dictionary definitions for edema


noun plural -mata (-mətə)

the usual US spelling of oedema
Derived Formsedematous (ɪˈdɛmətəs) or edematose, adjective
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 edema

c.1400, from medical Latin, from Greek oidema (genitive oidematos) "a swelling tumor," from oidein "to swell," from oidos "tumor, swelling," from PIE *oid- "to swell;" cf. Latin aemidus "swelling," Armenian aitumn "a swelling," Old Norse eista "testicle," Old English attor "poison" (that which makes the body swell), and the first element in Oedipus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

edema in Medicine



n. pl. e•de•mas

An accumulation of an excessive amount of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or serous cavities.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

edema in Science



An accumulation of an excessive amount of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or body cavities. Edema can be mild and benign as in pregnancy or prolonged standing in the elderly, or a serious sign of heart, liver, or kidney failure, or of other diseases.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.