[ pawr-feer-ee-uh, -fahy-ree-uh ]
/ pɔrˈfɪər i ə, -ˈfaɪ ri ə /

noun Pathology.

a defect of blood pigment metabolism in which porphyrins are produced in excess, are present in the blood, and are found in the urine.

Origin of porphyria

First recorded in 1920–25; porphyr(in) + -ia
Also called hematoporphyria.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for porphyria

British Dictionary definitions for porphyria


/ (pɔːˈfɪrɪə) /


a hereditary disease of body metabolism, producing abdominal pain, mental confusion, etc

Word Origin for porphyria

C19: from New Latin, from porphyrin a purple substance excreted by patients suffering from this condition, from Greek porphura purple
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 porphyria



metabolic disorder, 1923, from porphyrin (1910), the ame of the type of chemical which, in imbalance, causes it, from German porphyrin, chemical name, from Greek porphyros "purple" (see purple) + -in (2). Some of the compounds are purple.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for porphyria


[ pôr-fîrē-ə ]


Any of several disorders of porphyrin metabolism, usually hereditary, characterized by large amounts of porphyrins in the blood and urine.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.