From Old English poplexye and Late Latin poplexia, from Latin apoplexia, from Ancient Greek ἀποπληξία (apoplēxía), from ἀποπλήσσειν (apoplḗssein) to cripple by a stroke; ἀπό (apó, “from”) + πλήσσειν (plḗssein, “to strike”): compare with French apoplexie. See plague.
- (medicine) Bleeding within internal organs and the accompanying symptoms.
- (medicine) Sudden diminution or loss of consciousness, sensation, and voluntary motion, usually caused by pressure on the brain.
- (colloquial) Great anger and excitement.
The term is now usually limited to cerebral apoplexy, or loss of consciousness due to effusion of blood or other lesion within the substance of the brain; but it is sometimes extended to denote an effusion of blood into the substance of any organ; as, apoplexy of the lung.