phlegm

[ flem ]
/ flɛm /

noun

the thick mucus secreted in the respiratory passages and discharged through the mouth, especially that occurring in the lungs and throat passages, as during a cold.
one of the four elemental bodily humors of medieval physiology, regarded as causing sluggishness or apathy.
sluggishness, indifference, or apathy.
self-possession, calmness, or composure.

Origin of phlegm

1350–1400; Middle English fleem < Middle French flemme < Late Latin phlegma < Greek phlégma flame, phlegmatic humor, equivalent to phlég(ein) to burn + -ma resultative noun suffix

Related forms

phlegm·less, adjective
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Examples from the Web for phlegm

British Dictionary definitions for phlegm

phlegm

/ (flɛm) /

noun

the viscid mucus secreted by the walls of the respiratory tract
archaic one of the four bodily humours
apathy; stolidity; indifference
self-possession; imperturbability; coolness

Derived Forms

phlegmy, adjective

Word Origin for phlegm

C14: from Old French fleume, from Late Latin phlegma, from Greek: inflammation, from phlegein to burn
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

Medicine definitions for phlegm

phlegm

[ flĕm ]

n.

Thick, sticky, stringy mucus secreted by the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, as during a cold or other respiratory infection.
One of the four humors of ancient and medieval physiology, thought to cause sluggishness, apathy, and evenness of temper.

Related forms

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

Science definitions for phlegm

phlegm

[ flĕm ]

Thick mucus produced by the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, as during a cold or other respiratory infection.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.