noun Pathology.
the extreme condition caused by lack of oxygen and excess of carbon dioxide in the blood, produced by interference with respiration or insufficient oxygen in the air; suffocation.

1700–10; < Neo-Latin < Greek asphyxía a stopping of the pulse, equivalent to a- a-6 + sphýx(is) pulse + -ia -ia

asphyxial, adjective

asphyxia, asphyxiation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
asphyxia (æsˈfɪksɪə)
lack of oxygen in the blood due to restricted respiration; suffocation. If severe enough and prolonged, it causes death
[C18: from New Latin, from Greek asphuxia a stopping of the pulse, from a-1 + sphuxis pulse, from sphuzein to throb]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1706, "stoppage of pulse," from Mod.L., from Gk. asphyxia "stopping of the pulse," from a- "not" + sphyzein "to throb." The current sense of "suffocation" is from 1778, but it is a "curious infelicity of etymology" [OED] since victims of suffocation have a pulse for some time after breathing has stopped.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

asphyxia as·phyx·i·a (ās-fĭk'sē-ə)
A condition in which an extreme decrease in the amount of oxygen in the body accompanied by an increase of carbon dioxide leads to loss of consciousness or death.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
asphyxia   (ās-fĭk'sē-ə)  Pronunciation Key 
A condition characterized by an extreme decrease in the amount of oxygen in the body accompanied by an increase of carbon dioxide, caused by an an inability to breathe. Asphyxia usually results in loss of consciousness and sometimes death.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for asphyxia
Little raised the possibility of asphyxia during birth as a chief cause of the disorder.
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