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[dee-fahy-bruh-leyt, -fib-ruh-] /diˈfaɪ brəˌleɪt, -ˈfɪb rə-/
verb (used with object), defibrillated, defibrillating. Medicine/Medical.
to arrest the fibrillation of (heart muscle) by applying electric shock across the chest, thus depolarizing the heart cells and allowing normal rhythm to return.
Origin of defibrillate
1930-35; de- + fibrillate, back formation from fibrillation
Related forms
defibrillation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for defibrillation


/dɪˌfaɪbrɪˈleɪʃən; -fɪb-/
(med) the application of an electric current to the heart to restore normal rhythmic contractions after the onset of atrial or ventricular fibrillation
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 defibrillation

1940, in reference to heartbeat, from de- + fibrillation "a beating in an abnormal way," from Modern Latin fibrilla, diminutive of fibra "fiber," in reference to the muscle strands of the heart that contract irregularly in this condition.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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defibrillation in Medicine

defibrillation de·fib·ril·la·tion (dē-fĭb'rə-lā'shən, -fī'brə-)
The stopping of fibrillation of the heart muscle and the restoration of normal contractions using of drugs or electric shock.

de·fib'ril·late' v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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defibrillation in Science
Termination of fibrillation of the heart muscle and restoration of normal heart rhythm, especially by one or more electric shocks administered by paddles applied to the chest.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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