heart failure

noun
1.
a condition in which the heart fatally ceases to function.
2.
Also called congestive heart failure. a condition in which the heart fails to pump adequate amounts of blood to the tissues, resulting in accumulation of blood returning to the heart from the veins, and often accompanied by distension of the ventricles, edema, and shortness of breath.

Origin:
1890–95

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World English Dictionary
heart failure
 
n
1.  a condition in which the heart is unable to pump an adequate amount of blood to the tissues, usually resulting in breathlessness, swollen ankles, etc
2.  sudden and permanent cessation of the heartbeat, resulting in death

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

heart failure n.

  1. A condition marked by weakness, edema, and shortness of breath that is caused by the inability of the heart to maintain adequate blood circulation in the peripheral tissues and the lungs. Also called cardiac insufficiency, congestive heart failure, myocardial insufficiency.

  2. The resulting clinical syndrome, consisting of shortness of breath, pitting edema, enlarged tender liver, engorged neck veins, and pulmonary rales.

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
heart failure  
An acute or chronic inability of the heart to maintain adequate blood circulation to the peripheral tissues and the lungs, usually characterized by fatigue, edema, and shortness of breath. Heart failure has many causes, including coronary artery disease, hypertension, and cardiomyopathy. Also called congestive heart failure.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Neurotoxins target the nervous system, paralyzing the muscles, leading to heart
  failure and suffocation.
Louise, suspended over the immense drop, nearly suffers heart failure.
Many different medications are used in the treatment of heart failure.
Heart failure has many causes and can evolve in different ways.
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