Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[ploo r-uh-see] /ˈplʊər ə si/
noun, Pathology
inflammation of the pleura, with or without a liquid effusion in the pleural cavity, characterized by a dry cough and pain in the affected side.
1350-1400; Middle English pluresy < Old French pleurisie < Late Latin pleurīsis, alteration of Latin pleurītis < Greek pleurîtis. See pleura, -itis
Related forms
[ploo-rit-ik] /plʊˈrɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for pleurisy
  • There was purulent pleurisy with a considerable pocket of pus, and purulent false membranes on the walls of the pleura.
  • When her sister comes down with pleurisy, she takes care of things.
  • Everybody had diabetes and pleurisy and arthritis and cataracts and cardiac pacemakers.
British Dictionary definitions for pleurisy


inflammation of the pleura, characterized by pain that is aggravated by deep breathing or coughing
Derived Forms
pleuritic (plʊˈrɪtɪk) adjective, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French pleurisie, from Late Latin pleurisis, from Greek pleuritis, from pleura side
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 pleurisy

late 14c., from Old French pleurisie (13c., Modern French pleurésie) and directly from Late Latin pleurisis "pleurisy," alteration of Latin pleuritis "pain in the side," from Greek pleuritis, from pleura "side of the body, rib," of unknown origin. Spelling altered in Late Latin on model of Latin stem plur- "more" (cf. Medieval Latin pluritas "multitude"), as if in reference to "excess of humors."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
pleurisy in Medicine

pleurisy pleu·ri·sy (plur'ĭ-sē)
An inflammation of the pleura, usually occurring because of complications of a disease such as pneumonia, and accompanied by accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity, chills, fever, and painful breathing and coughing. Also called pleuritis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
pleurisy in Science
An inflammation of the pleura, usually occurring because of complications of a respiratory disease or condition such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, pleural injury, or asbestos exposure. Pleurisy is usually accompanied by the accumulation of fluid between the pleurae, chills, fever, and painful breathing and coughing.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for pleurisy

inflammation of the pleura, the membranes that line the thoracic cavity and fold in to cover the lungs. Pleurisy may be characterized as dry or wet. In dry pleurisy, little or no abnormal fluid accumulates in the pleural cavity, and the inflamed surfaces of the pleura produce an abnormal sound called a pleural friction rub when they rub against one another during respiration. This rubbing may be felt by the affected person or heard through a stethoscope applied to the surface of the chest. In wet pleurisy, fluids produced by the inflamed tissues accumulate within the pleural cavity, sometimes in quantities sufficient to compress the underlying lung and cause shortness of breath. Because the pleura is well supplied with nerves, pleurisy can be very painful. Pleurisy is commonly caused by infection in the underlying lung and, rarely, by diffuse inflammatory conditions such as lupus erythematosus. Treatment of pleurisy includes pain relief, fluid evacuation, and treatment of the underlying disease.

Learn more about pleurisy with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pleurisy

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pleurisy

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pleurisy