[ lith-uh-trip-see ]
/ ˈlɪθ əˌtrɪp si /

noun, plural lith·o·trip·sies.

the pulverization and removal of urinary calculi using a lithotripter.

Nearby words

  1. lithostatic,
  2. lithostratigraphy,
  3. lithotomic,
  4. lithotomy,
  5. lithotomy position,
  6. lithotripter,
  7. lithotriptic,
  8. lithotriptoscopy,
  9. lithotrite,
  10. lithotrity

Origin of lithotripsy

1825–35; litho- + Greek trîps(is) rubbing, wear + -y3; see lithotripter

Also called shock wave therapy. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for lithotripsy


/ (ˈlɪθəʊˌtrɪpsɪ) /


the use of ultrasound, often generated by a lithotripter, to pulverize kidney stones and gallstones in situ

Word Origin for lithotripsy

C20: from litho- + Greek thruptein to crush

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 lithotripsy



1834, from litho- + -tripsy, from Greek tripsis "rubbing," from tribein "to rub, thresh, pound, wear out," from PIE root *tere- "to rub, turn, twist" (see throw). Klein says the intended Greek word is thryptein "to crush" and there has been "confusion" with tribein.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for lithotripsy


[ lĭthə-trĭp′sē ]


The procedure of crushing a stone in the urinary bladder or urethra.lithotrity

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for lithotripsy


[ lĭthə-trĭp′sē ]

The procedure of crushing a stone in the urinary bladder or urethra by means of a lithotriptor, a device that passes shock waves through a water-filled tub in which the patient sits. The resulting stone fragments are small enough to be expelled in the urine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.