noun, plural lyses [lahy-seez] .
Immunology, Biochemistry. the dissolution or destruction of cells by lysins.
Medicine/Medical. the gradual recession of a disease. Compare crisis ( def 4 ).

1815–25; < Neo-Latin < Greek lýsis a loosening, releasing, equivalent to ly-, variant stem of lȳ́(ein) to loosen, release + -sis -sis Unabridged


a combining form with the meaning “breaking down, loosening, decomposition,” used in the formation of compound words: analysis; electrolysis; paralysis.

< Greek; see lysis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To lysis
World English Dictionary
lysis (ˈlaɪsɪs)
n , pl -ses
1.  the destruction or dissolution of cells by the action of a particular lysin
2.  med the gradual reduction in severity of the symptoms of a disease
[C19: New Latin, from Greek, from luein to release]

n combining form
indicating a loosening, decomposition, or breaking down: electrolysis; paralysis
[from Greek, from lusis a loosening; see lysis]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

scientific/medical suffix meaning "loosening, dissolving, dissolution," from Gk. lysis "a loosening, setting free, releasing, dissolution," from lyein "to unfasten, loose, loosen, untie" (see lose). A French back-formation gave English -lyze for forming verbs from nouns in -lysis.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

lysis ly·sis (lī'sĭs)
n. pl. ly·ses (-sēz)

  1. The gradual subsiding of the symptoms of an acute disease; a form of the recovery process.

  2. The dissolution or destruction of cells, such as blood cells or bacteria, as by the action of a specific lysin.

-lysis suff.
Decomposition; dissolving; disintegration: hydrolysis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
lysis   (lī'sĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
The disintegration of a cell resulting from destruction of its membrane by a chemical substance, especially an antibody or enzyme.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
When water enters the lungs, it causes a breakdown of the red blood cells in the capillaries called lysis.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature