[ ih-dee-muh ]

noun,plural e·de·mas, e·de·ma·ta [ih-dee-muh-tuh]. /ɪˈdi mə tə/. Pathology.
  1. effusion of serous fluid into the interstices of cells in tissue spaces or into body cavities.

  2. Plant Pathology.

    • a small surface swelling of plant parts, caused by excessive moisture.

    • any disease so characterized.

Compare Meanings

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.

Origin of edema

First recorded in 1490–1500; from New Latin oedēma, from Greek oídēma “a swelling,” equivalent to oidē- (variant stem of oideîn “to swell”) + -ma noun suffix
  • Also especially British, oe·de·ma .

Other words from edema

  • e·dem·a·tous [ih-dem-uh-tuhs, ih-dee-muh-], /ɪˈdɛm ə təs, ɪˈdi mə-/, e·dem·a·tose [ih-dem-uh-tohs, ih-dee-muh-], /ɪˈdɛm əˌtoʊs, ɪˈdi mə-/, adjective
  • pseu·do·e·de·ma, noun, plural pseu·do·e·de·ma·ta.

Words Nearby edema

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use edema in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for edema


/ (ɪˈdiːmə) /

nounplural -mata (-mətə)
  1. the usual US spelling of oedema

Derived forms of edema

  • edematous (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

Scientific definitions for edema


[ ĭ-dē ]

  1. 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.