- Medicine Failure of the heart to maintain adequate blood circulation, marked by labored breathing, engorged blood vessels, and edema. (noun)
- Psychology The inability to maintain defense mechanisms in response to stress, resulting in personality disturbance or psychological imbalance. (noun)
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.