Cultural Dictionary
atrophy [(at-ruh-fee)]

The wasting away or decrease in size of an organ or tissue in the body. When a body part is affected by paralysis, the muscles may atrophy through lack of use.

Note: The term is also used in a more general way to refer to a wasting process: “Since he stopped playing, his piano skills have atrophied.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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