asthma[az′mə; chiefly Brit as′-]
- The definition of asthma is an ongoing lung condition that makes breathing difficult.
Having episodes of wheezing, tightness in the chest, and coughing is an example of asthma.
Origin of asthmaMiddle English asma ; from Medieval Latin ; from Classical Greek asthma, a panting, asthma
Origin of asthmaMiddle English asma, from Medieval Latin, from Greek asthma.
left: inflamed bronchial tube with contracted muscles and mucus discharge
right: normal bronchial tube
(usually uncountable, plural asthmas or asthmata)
- (pathology) A long-term respiratory condition, in which the airways may unexpectedly and suddenly narrow, often in response to an allergen, cold air, exercise, or emotional stress. Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.
Borrowing from Ancient Greek ἆσθμα (asthma) ("laborous breathing").