[thahy-sis, tahy-]

noun Pathology.

a wasting away.
pulmonary tuberculosis; consumption.


Origin of phthisis

1515–25; < Greek phthísis lung disease, literally, a wasting away, equivalent to phthí(ein) to decay + -sis -sis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of phthisis

British Dictionary definitions for phthisis



any disease that causes wasting of the body, esp pulmonary tuberculosis

Word Origin for phthisis

C16: via Latin from Greek: a wasting away, from phthinein to waste away
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 phthisis

1520s, from Late Latin phthisis "consumption," from Greek phthisis "wasting, consumption; perishing, decay; waxing," from phthiein "to decay, waste away," from PIE root *dhgwhei- "to perish, die away" (cf. Sanskrit ksitih "destruction," ksinati "perishes").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for phthisis


[thīsĭs, tī-]


A disease characterized by the wasting away or atrophy of the body or part of the body.
Tuberculosis of the lungs. No longer in technical use.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.