[ em-fuh-see-muh, -zee- ]
/ ˌɛm fəˈsi mə, -ˈzi- /
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See synonyms for: emphysematous on Thesaurus.com

noun Pathology.
a chronic, irreversible disease of the lungs characterized by abnormal enlargement of air spaces in the lungs accompanied by destruction of the tissue lining the walls of the air spaces.
any abnormal distention of an organ, or part of the body, with air or other gas.
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Origin of emphysema

1655–65; <New Latin <Greek emphȳ́sēma inflation, equivalent to em-em-2 + phȳsē- (variant stem of phȳsân to blow) + -ma noun suffix denoting result of action


em·phy·sem·a·tous [em-fuh-sem-uh-tuhs, -see-muh-, -zem-uh-, -zee-muh-], /ˌɛm fəˈsɛm ə təs, -ˈsi mə-, -ˈzɛm ə-, -ˈzi mə-/, adjectiveem·phy·se·mic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use emphysema in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for emphysema

/ (ˌɛmfɪˈsiːmə) /

noun pathol
Also called: pulmonary emphysema a condition in which the air sacs of the lungs are grossly enlarged, causing breathlessness and wheezing
the abnormal presence of air in a tissue or part

Derived forms of emphysema

emphysematous (ˌɛmfɪˈsɛmətəs, -ˈsiː-), adjective

Word Origin for emphysema

C17: from New Latin, from Greek emphusēma, a swelling up, from emphusan to inflate, from phusan to blow
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 emphysema

[ ĕm′fĭ-sēmə ]

A chronic lung disease characterized by progressive, irreversible expansion of the alveoli with eventual destruction of alveolar tissue, causing obstruction to airflow. Patients with emphysema often have labored breathing, wheezing, chronic fatigue, and increased susceptibility to infection, and may require oxygen therapy. Long-term smoking is a common cause of emphysema.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for emphysema

[ (em-fuh-see-muh, em-fuh-zee-muh) ]

A chronic disease in which the tiny air sacs in the lungs become stretched and enlarged, so that they are less able to supply oxygen to the blood. Emphysema causes shortness of breath and painful coughing and can increase the likelihood of developing heart disease. Emphysema occurs most frequently in older men who have been heavy smokers.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.