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[ap-uh-plek-see] /ˈæp əˌplɛk si/
noun, Pathology.
stroke1 (def 6).
a sudden, usually marked loss of bodily function due to rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel.
a hemorrhage into an organ cavity or tissue.
Origin of apoplexy
1350-1400; Middle English apoplexie < Late Latin < Greek, equivalent to apóplēkt(os) (see apoplectic) + -ia -y3
Related forms
[ap-uh-plek-tuh-fawrm] /ˌæp əˈplɛk təˌfɔrm/ (Show IPA),
apoplectoid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for apoplexy
Historical Examples
  • On the day before his death from apoplexy he imagined to himself despatches in which his son's name figured brilliantly.

    Here and Hereafter Barry Pain
  • He adds that the surgeon described death as due to apoplexy.

  • Epilepsy and apoplexy were understood as spasms inside the head.

  • They will find it apoplexy, or some such thing, I have no doubt of it.

    The Hour and the Man Harriet Martineau
  • I have no wish that he should die of an attack of apoplexy—that would be very embarrassing both to me and to my Government.

    The Tragedy of St. Helena Walter Runciman
  • apoplexy may be termed an universal palsy, or a permanent sleep.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II Erasmus Darwin
  • Two years later a stroke of apoplexy brought to a sudden end the convert's life.

  • It 's apoplexy,—I told you so,—don't you see how red he is in the face?

    Elsie Venner Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • There are a number of symptoms that act as warnings of the approach of apoplexy.

  • It was one of the hundred things his doctor had told him not to do for fear of apoplexy, the humbug!

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
British Dictionary definitions for apoplexy


sudden loss of consciousness, often followed by paralysis, caused by rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel in the brain
Word Origin
C14: from Old French apoplexie, from Late Latin apoplēxia, from Greek: from apoplēssein to cripple by a stroke, from plēssein to strike
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apoplexy

late 14c., "sudden fit of paralysis and dizziness," from Old French apoplexie or directly from Late Latin apoplexia, from Greek apoplexia, from apoplessein "to strike down and incapacitate," from apo- "off" (see apo-), in this case probably an intensive prefix, + plessein "hit" (cf. plague (n.), also with a root sense of "stricken"). The Latin translation, sideratio, means "disease caused by a constellation."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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apoplexy in Medicine

apoplexy ap·o·plex·y (āp'ə-plěk'sē)

  1. Sudden impairment of neurological function, especially from a cerebral hemorrhage; a stroke.

  2. An effusion of blood into a tissue or organ.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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