Atrophy



Also, atrophia
[uh-troh-fee-uh] /əˈtroʊ fi ə/ (Show IPA). Pathology. a wasting away of the body or of an organ or part, as from defective nutrition or nerve damage.
degeneration, decline, or decrease, as from disuse:
He argued that there was a progressive atrophy of freedom and independence of thought.
to affect with or undergo atrophy.
Contemporary Examples

It hinders the immune system, causes insomnia, and speeds the atrophy of the brain, to name a few.
How to Live Forever Casey Schwartz July 28, 2009

Still, the atrophy continued, as did the collapse of Vatican-backed dictatorships in Portugal, Spain and Latin America.
Father Ted: Comedy as Liberation Tom Doran March 7, 2013

Historical Examples

A certain amount of atrophy also may be brought about by the pressure and development of tumors.
Surgery, with Special Reference to Podiatry Maximilian Stern

In at least this age and country it exists as the atrophy of a cureless decline.
Leading Articles on Various Subjects Hugh Miller

A mere lack of use of bones may also lead to a certain amount of atrophy from lacunar resorption.
Surgery, with Special Reference to Podiatry Maximilian Stern

They pay the penalty in an atrophy of the faculties of reflection and representation.
Appearances Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

The ovary of aconites, according to Moquin, is very subject to atrophy.
Vegetable Teratology Maxwell T. Masters

atrophy is partial and special in its operation, nanism is general.
Vegetable Teratology Maxwell T. Masters

The vascular tunic may be congested in young infants, but atrophy soon develops and may reach an extreme degree.
Glaucoma Various

Was it politics that had caused this atrophy of the moral senses by disuse?
Democracy An American Novel Henry Adams

noun (pl) -phies
a wasting away of an organ or part, or a failure to grow to normal size as the result of disease, faulty nutrition, etc
any degeneration or diminution, esp through lack of use
verb -phies, -phying, -phied
to waste away or cause to waste away
n.

“a wasting away through lack of nourishment,” 1620s (atrophied is from 1590s), from French atrophie, from Late Latin atrophia, from Greek atrophia “a wasting away,” noun of state from atrophos “ill-fed, un-nourished,” from a- “not” + trophe “nourishment,” from trephein “to fatten” (see -trophy).
v.

1822 (implied in atrophied), from atrophy (n.). Related: Atrophying.

atrophy at·ro·phy (āt’rə-fē)
n.
A wasting or decrease in the size of an organ or tissue, as from death and reabsorption of cells, diminished cellular proliferation, pressure, ischemia, malnutrition, decreased function, or hormonal changes. Also called atrophia. v. at·ro·phied, at·ro·phy·ing, at·ro·phies
To undergo atrophy.
a·troph’ic (ā-trŏf’ĭk) adj.
atrophy
(āt’rə-fē)
A wasting or decrease in the size of an organ or tissue, as from death and reabsorption of cells, diminished proliferation of cells, pressure, lack of oxygen, malnutrition, decreased function, or hormonal changes.
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.”

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