Definition of "atrophy" []

  • Pathology A wasting or decrease in size of a body organ, tissue, or part owing to disease, injury, or lack of use: muscular atrophy of a person affected with paralysis. (noun)
  • A wasting away, deterioration, or diminution: intellectual atrophy. (noun)
  • To cause to wither or deteriorate; affect with atrophy. (verb-transitive)
  • To waste away; wither or deteriorate. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "atrophy" in a sentence
  • "Infantile paralysis, which often appears suddenly, muscular atrophy, which develops slowly, _progressive and chronic atrophy_ of the muscles, are also forms of muscular disease, combined with destruction of the accompanying nerve tissue."
  • "His mother explained that his disease, spinal muscular atrophy, is gradually deteriorating his neuromuscular system so that every few months, he loses more of his ability to move."
  • "Our country languishes today in atrophy from pay to play politics."