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Definition of "emphysema" []

  • A pathological condition of the lungs marked by an abnormal increase in the size of the air spaces, resulting in labored breathing and an increased susceptibility to infection. It can be caused by irreversible expansion of the alveoli or by the destruction of alveolar walls. (noun)
  • An abnormal distention of body tissues caused by retention of air. (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.

Use "emphysema" in a sentence
  • "Most extreme of the forms of physiological dysfunction in emphysema are those rather uncommon cases of severe alveolar hypoventilation sometimes called the Ayerza syndrome, in which all of the above trends are manifested to maximum degree, and yet often with only mild anatomical changes in the lungs42."
  • "When a consumer, for example, begins smoking cigarettes knowing that she has a particular medical condition, such as emphysema, that is exacerbated by smoking, the Correia defense may be appropriately invoked."
  • "Nancy told me she had a disease called emphysema, a lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe."