• synonyms


noun, plural scle·ro·ses [skli-roh-seez] /sklɪˈroʊ siz/.
  1. Pathology. a hardening or induration of a tissue or part, or an increase of connective tissue or the like at the expense of more active tissue.
  2. Botany. a hardening of a tissue or cell wall by thickening or lignification.
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Origin of sclerosis

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin < Greek sklḗrōsis hardening. See scler-, -osis
Related formsscle·ro·sal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sclerosis

Historical Examples

  • You must have read his little book on sclerosis of the posterior columns.

    The Man from Archangel

    A. Conan Doyle

  • Opinion as to whether or not sclerosis is present, when it is slight, may differ.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension:

    Louis Marshall Warfield

  • The radial artery was palpated to determine the presence of sclerosis.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension:

    Louis Marshall Warfield

  • It seems to produce a sclerosis of the pyramidal tracts of the cord.

  • The arterioles are thickened, the sclerosis being either of the intima or media or of both.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension:

    Louis Marshall Warfield

British Dictionary definitions for sclerosis


noun plural -ses (-siːz)
  1. pathol a hardening or thickening of organs, tissues, or vessels from chronic inflammation, abnormal growth of fibrous tissue, or degeneration of the myelin sheath of nerve fibres, or (esp on the inner walls of arteries) deposition of fatty plaquesCompare arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis
  2. the hardening of a plant cell wall or tissue by the deposition of lignin
  3. a debilitating lack of progress or innovation within an institution or organization
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Derived Formssclerosal, adjective

Word Origin

C14: via Medieval Latin from Greek sklērōsis a hardening
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 sclerosis


"morbid hardening of the tissue," late 14c., from Medieval Latin sclirosis "a hardness, hard tumor," from Greek sklerosis "hardening," from skleros "hard" (see sclero-). Figurative use by 1954.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sclerosis in Medicine


n. pl. scle•ro•ses (-sēz)
  1. The hardening of a tissue or part due to chronic inflammation.
  2. A thickening or hardening of a body part or system especially from excessive formation of fibrous interstitial or glial tissue.
  3. Any of various diseases characterized by thickening or hardening, such as arteriosclerosis.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.