noun Pathology.
a disorder in which the bones become increasingly porous, brittle, and subject to fracture, owing to loss of calcium and other mineral components, sometimes resulting in pain, decreased height, and skeletal deformities: common in older persons, primarily postmenopausal women, but also associated with long-term steroid therapy and certain endocrine disorders.

1840–50; osteo- + Greek pór(os) passage, pore2 + -osis

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World English Dictionary
osteoporosis (ˌɒstɪəʊpɔːˈrəʊsɪs)
porosity and brittleness of the bones due to loss of calcium from the bone matrix
[C19: from osteo- + pore² + -osis]

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Word Origin & History

1846, from osteo- + Gk. poros "passage, pore, voyage" (see pore (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

osteoporosis os·te·o·po·ro·sis (ŏs'tē-ō-pə-rō'sĭs)
n. pl. os·te·o·po·ro·ses (-sēz)
A disease in which the bones become extremely porous, are subject to fracture, and heal slowly, occurring especially in women following menopause and often leading to curvature of the spine from vertebral collapse.

os'te·o·po·rot'ic (-rŏt'ĭk) adj.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
osteoporosis   (ŏs'tē-ō-pə-rō'sĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
A bone disease characterized by decrease in bone mass and density, resulting in a predisposition to fractures and bone deformities such as the collapse of one or more vertebrae. It occurs most commonly in women after menopause as a result of estrogen deficiency. calcium supplementation and weight-bearing exercise are used to treat and prevent osteoporosis.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
osteoporosis [(os-tee-oh-puh-roh-sis)]

A softening of the bones that gradually increases and makes them more fragile. It is caused by the gradual loss of the mineral calcium, which helps make bones hard. Osteoporosis occurs most often in elderly women.

Note: Many experts now believe that osteoporosis can be prevented through regular exercise, mineral supplements, and a diet high in calcium.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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