Share this entry
phthisis Syllabification: phthi·sis
Pronunciation: /ˈTHīsəs/

Definition of phthisis in English:


Medicine , archaic
Pulmonary tuberculosis or a similar progressive systemic 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: /ˈtizik/ /ˈTHīsik/ /ˈtīsik/
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.
Pronunciation: /ˈtizikəl/ /ˈTHiz-/
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'.

Definition of phthisis in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources