[em-pee-ee-muh, -pahy-]

Origin of empyema

1605–15; < Late Latin < Greek empýēma abscess, equivalent to em- em-2 + pyē- (variant stem of pyeîn to suppurate, akin to pýon, pýos pus) + -ma noun suffix denoting result of action
Also called pyothorax.
Related formsem·py·e·mic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of empyema

British Dictionary definitions for empyema


noun plural -emata (-ˈiːmətə) or -emas
  1. a collection of pus in a body cavity, esp in the chest
Derived Formsempyemic, adjective

Word Origin for empyema

C17: from Medieval Latin, from Greek empuēma abscess, from empuein to suppurate, from puon pus
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

empyema in Medicine


n. pl. em•py•e•ma•ta (-mə-tə)
  1. The presence of pus in a body cavity, especially the pleural cavity.
Related formsem′py•emic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.