A disorder, seen especially in deep-sea divers, caused by the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood and tissues following a sudden drop in the surrounding pressure, as when ascending rapidly from a dive, and characterized by severe pains in the joints and chest, skin irritation, cramps, and paralysis.
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.