Definition of phthisis in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈ(f)θʌɪsɪs/
Pronunciation: /ˈtʌɪsɪs/


[mass noun] Medicine , archaic
Pulmonary tuberculosis or a similar progressive wasting disease.
Example sentences
  • He learned to recognize pneumonia, bronchiectasis, pleurisy, emphysema, pneumothorax, phthisis, and other lung diseases from the sounds he heard with his stethoscope.
  • Death rates from silicosis, miners' phthisis, and tubercular diseases were very high on the Rand.
  • In fact he had died there from phthisis on 9 December 1886: the death certificate describes him as a ‘musician’.



Pronunciation: /(f)ˈθɪzɪk/
Example sentences
  • It was said that the urine of phthisic patients is "high coloured and deposits a brawny red sediment."
  • Shelley’s tribute expressed what would become the central metaphor of consumption in the 19th century, the idea that the phthisic body is consumed from within by its passions.


Example sentences
  • If there be a special or specific hereditary predisposition - we should find the children of such parents phthisical in greater proportion than the children of parents whose debility arises from other causes.
  • The sputum of phthisical patients is the vehicle by which the tubercle gains access to the air.


Mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek, from phthinein 'to decay'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: phthi|sis

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