Asthma Definition

ăzmə, ăs-
A chronic respiratory disease, often arising from allergies, that is characterized by sudden recurring attacks of labored breathing, chest constriction, and coughing.
American Heritage
A generally chronic disorder characterized by wheezing, coughing, difficulty in breathing, and a suffocating feeling, caused by an allergy to ingested substances, stress, etc.
Webster's New World
A chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs characterized by a narrowing of the airways and attacks of wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath that are induced by triggers such as allergens, exercise, infections, and stress.
American Heritage Medicine

(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.


Other Word Forms of Asthma


asthmas, asthmata

Origin of Asthma

  • Middle English asma from Medieval Latin from Greek asthma

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Borrowing from Ancient Greek ἆσθμα (asthma) ("laborous breathing").

    From Wiktionary

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