asthma

[az-muh, as-]
noun
Pathology. a paroxysmal, often allergic disorder of respiration, characterized by bronchospasm, wheezing, and difficulty in expiration, often accompanied by coughing and a feeling of constriction in the chest.
Also called bronchial asthma.


Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Greek: a panting (akin to aázein to breathe hard); replacing Middle English asma < Medieval Latin < Greek ásthma

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World English Dictionary
asthma (ˈæsmə)
 
n
a respiratory disorder, often of allergic origin, characterized by difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and a sense of constriction in the chest
 
[C14: from Greek: laborious breathing, from azein to breathe hard]

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

asthma
late 14c., from L. asthma, from Gk. asthma "a panting," from azein "breathe hard," probably related to anemos "wind."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

asthma asth·ma (āz'mə, ās'-)
n.
Bronchial asthma.


asth·mat'ic (-māt'ĭk) adj. & n.
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
asthma   (āz'mə)  Pronunciation Key 
A common inflammatory disease of the lungs characterized by episodic airway obstruction caused by extensive narrowing of the bronchi and bronchioles. The narrowing is caused by spasm of smooth muscle, edema of the mucosa, and the presence of mucus in the airway resulting from an immunologic reaction that can be induced by allergies, irritants, infection, stress, and other factors in a genetically predisposed individual. Common symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
asthma [(az-muh)]

A chronic disease of the respiratory system, characterized by sudden, recurring attacks of difficult breathing, wheezing, and coughing. During an attack, the bronchial tubes go into spasms, becoming narrower and less able to move air into the lungs. Various substances to which the sufferer has an allergy, such as animal hair, dust, pollen, or certain foods, can trigger an attack.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Asthma is a disease of the respiratory system, which causes swelling and
  narrowing of the airways.
Surprisingly, it's five times more common than asthma.
However, if your genes predispose you to asthma or obesity, eradication may be
  unwise.
And this means that pepper sprays pose a genuine risk to people with asthma and
  other respiratory conditions.
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