[noo-muh-thawr-aks, -thohr-, nyoo-]

Origin of pneumothorax

From New Latin, dating back to 1815–25; see origin at pneumo-, thorax Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pneumothorax

Historical Examples of pneumothorax

British Dictionary definitions for pneumothorax


  1. the abnormal presence of air between the lung and the wall of the chest (pleural cavity), resulting in collapse of the lung
  2. med the introduction of air into the pleural cavity to collapse the lung: a former treatment for tuberculosis
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 pneumothorax

1821, from French pneumothorax (1803), coined by French physician Jean Marc Gaspard Itard (1774-1838) from Greek pneumon (see pneumonia) + thorax.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pneumothorax in Medicine


  1. Accumulation of air or gas in the pleural cavity, occurring as a result of disease or injury or as a treatment of tuberculosis and other lung diseases.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pneumothorax in Science


  1. Accumulation of a gas, such as air, in the space between the pleurae of the lungs and the pleurae lining the chest wall (called the pleural cavity), occurring as a result of disease or injury or induced to collapse the lung in the treatment of tuberculosis and other lung diseases. A large pneumothorax is treated by inserting a syringe or a tube into the pleural cavity to aspirate air, which helps the collapsed lung to expand.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.