[tiz-ik, thiz-]Pathology


a wasting disease of the lungs; phthisis.
a person who suffers from phthisis.


pertaining to phthisis; phthisical.

Origin of phthisic

1300–50; < Latin phthisicus < Greek phthisikós (see phthisis, -ic); replacing Middle English tisike < Medieval Latin (p)tisicus; Latin, as above Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for phthisic

consumptive, phthisic, phthisical, tuberculate, tuberculous

Examples from the Web for phthisic

Historical Examples of phthisic

  • Yes, there's considerable of ager and phthisic and bilious fever.

    Hoosier Mosaics

    Maurice Thompson

  • They call it phthisic only because thats the very hardest word in the book to spell.

    The Last of the Flatboats

    George Cary Eggleston

  • She put it on her knee, and played a tune that would have made gout, cholic and phthisic dance upon their last legs.

    Peg Woffington

    Charles Reade

  • Then Dilsie could sleep in the cabin, as she ought to on account of the jimsonweed in her phthisic pipe.

    The Tinder-Box

    Maria Thompson Daviess

British Dictionary definitions for phthisic



relating to or affected with phthisis


another name for asthma
Derived Formsphthisical, adjective

Word Origin for phthisic

C14: from Old French tisike, from Latin phthisicus, from Greek phthisikos; see phthisis
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 phthisic

late 14c., tysyk "of or pertaining to a wasting disease," from Old French tisike, phtisique "consumptive" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *phthisicus, from Greek phthisikos "consumptive," from phthisis "wasting, consumption" (see phthisis). Earlier in English as a noun meaning "wasting disease of the lungs" (mid-14c.). Related: Phthisical.

The old pronunciation dropped the ph-, but this will probably recover its sound now that everyone can read.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper