follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

lysis

[lahy-sis] /ˈlaɪ sɪs/
noun, plural lyses [lahy-seez] /ˈlaɪ siz/ (Show IPA)
1.
Immunology, Biochemistry. the dissolution or destruction of cells by lysins.
2.
Medicine/Medical. the gradual recession of a disease.
Compare crisis (def 4).
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25; < Neo-Latin < Greek lýsis a loosening, releasing, equivalent to ly-, variant stem of lȳ́(ein) to loosen, release + -sis -sis

-lysis

1.
a combining form with the meaning “breaking down, loosening, decomposition,” used in the formation of compound words:
analysis; electrolysis; paralysis.
Origin
< Greek; see lysis
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for lysis
  • When water enters the lungs, it causes a breakdown of the red blood cells in the capillaries called lysis.
British Dictionary definitions for lysis

lysis

/ˈlaɪsɪs/
noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
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
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, from Greek, from luein to release

-lysis

combining form
1.
indicating a loosening, decomposition, or breaking down electrolysis, paralysis
Word Origin
from Greek, from lusis a loosening; see lysis
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lysis
-lysis
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
lysis in Medicine

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
lysis in Science
lysis
  (lī'sĭs)   
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

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for lysis

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for lysis

8
8
Scrabble Words With Friends