From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Asthma



Borrowed from Ancient Greek ἆσθμα (âsthma, laborious breathing, asthma). Displaced native Old English angbrēost (literally tight chest).



asthma (usually uncountable, plural asthmas or asthmata)

  1. (pathology) A long-term respiratory condition, in which the airways may unexpectedly and suddenly narrow, often in response to an allergen, cold air, exercise, or emotional stress. Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.
    • 1842, [anonymous collaborator of Letitia Elizabeth Landon], chapter LV, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume III, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 74:
      ...but rheumatism is a vulgar complaint, and would sink even a ducal coronet—the very lowest people have it. I question if there is a workhouse in Great Britain exempt from it. Neither is there one free from asthma, and yet all the world knows a royal duke suffers from it as much as a coalheaver might do;...
    • 1954, William Golding, Lord of the Flies:
      "He kind of spat," said Piggy. "My auntie wouldn't let me blow on account of my asthma. He said you blew from down here." Piggy laid a hand on his jutting abdomen.
    • 2013 June 29, “A punch in the gut”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, pages 72–3:
      Mostly, the microbiome is beneficial. It helps with digestion and enables people to extract a lot more calories from their food than would otherwise be possible. Research over the past few years, however, has implicated it in diseases from atherosclerosis to asthma to autism.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jespersen, Otto (1909) A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles (Sammlung germanischer Elementar- und Handbücher; 9)‎[1], volume I: Sounds and Spellings, London: George Allen & Unwin, published 1961, § 7.736, page 225.

Further reading[edit]




From Ancient Greek ἆσθμα (âsthma).



asthma n (genitive asthmatis); third declension

  1. panting, laboured breathing
  2. (medicine) asthma


Third-declension noun (neuter, imparisyllabic non-i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative asthma asthmata
Genitive asthmatis asthmatum
Dative asthmatī asthmatibus
Accusative asthma asthmata
Ablative asthmate asthmatibus
Vocative asthma asthmata


  • Asturian: asma
  • Catalan: asma
  • French: asthme
  • Italian: asma
  • Spanish: asma
  • Polish: astma
  • Dutch: astma
  • Hungarian: asztma


  • asthma in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette