Definition of apoplexy in English:


nounPlural apoplexies

mass noun
  • 1dated Unconsciousness or incapacity resulting from a cerebral haemorrhage or stroke.

    ‘Browne died of apoplexy’
    • ‘He was stricken with apoplexy and died the next day.’
    • ‘In modern usage, apoplexy and stroke are synonymous terms, referring to sudden and lasting impairment of brain function caused by obstruction of or haemorrhage from the cerebral blood vessels.’
    • ‘He set every stone with his own hands and on coming ashore at the end of June, he complained of illness and died of apoplexy on July 6.’
    • ‘James, who was about thirty-five years of age and of quiet and sober habits, had died from apoplexy.’
    • ‘The association between hypertension and a ‘hardening’ of the pulse and apoplexy has been recognised for hundreds of years.’
    blood clot, embolism, embolus, infarction
    View synonyms
  • 2informal Extreme anger.

    ‘the decision has aroused apoplexy among environmentalists’
    • ‘This sentiment almost induces apoplexy in our authors.’
    • ‘Will they really be comfortable with a cozy rest-your-feet-on-any-chair type of living room, or will Mrs. Redford have apoplexy the first time Uncle David plunks his beer can down on the walnut end table?’
    • ‘He barreled into office last fall and immediately drove reformers and critics to the brink of apoplexy with his abrasive time-to-get-tough rhetoric and his vows to wage ruthless war on gangs.’
    • ‘The Sovereigns, still in apoplexy over the betrayal, promised their favor to the man who brought the Traitor back alive.’
    • ‘That will be the fundamental job description of the Motion Picture Association of America's new chair: somehow keeping these seven demanding people happy, or, absent that, minimizing their apoplexy.’
    • ‘In the whirl of fugitives an old senator raised his hands to his bald head, purple with apoplexy, and collapsed against the marble seat behind him.’
    • ‘On more than one occasion, he is said to have frothed at the mouth in a screaming rage, and is even known to have chewed the straw on the floor in apoplexy.’
    • ‘But his methods are so boneheaded and his argument so incoherent, it's impossible to tell what he wants to do besides humiliate his actors, insult lesbians and drive his defenders into a state of apoplexy.’
    • ‘The idea that Scotland's wild salmon should be replaced by an artificial equivalent has created apoplexy among environmental groups, neighbouring river owners and angling bodies alike.’
    • ‘He almost suffered apoplexy when he saw the variations that had been wrought.’
    • ‘Having thrown the dictionary into the nearest skip in a rage of apoplexy at its inadequacy, however, I resolve to plough on nonetheless.’
    • ‘This has the eventual effect of sending someone into apoplexy if it remains unanswered long enough.’
    • ‘Although the number of strikes is still at an all-time low, the fact that they are rising, and impacting on virtually every area of public services has sent the political establishment into apoplexy.’
    • ‘Unionism reacted to their demands with anger verging on apoplexy.’
    • ‘The tutti resources of a gigantic orchestra are thrown into apoplexy for many minutes, and it is a kind of writing (as Tim Ashley's programme note pointed out) that made an early critic speak of ‘an atrocity’.’
    • ‘And rather conveniently, there is every chance that the drive to get to one will have put you in just the right mood: apoplexy.’
    • ‘His apoplexy, however appropriate to the repulsiveness of its catalyst, is surely fueled by powerlessness.’
    • ‘Imagine our apoplexy at being charged for travelling 500 miles up and down the A1 at rush hour when we had never been near the place - all because some clever criminal had fiddled with the little black box on our car.’


Late Middle English: from Old French apoplexie, from late Latin apoplexia, from Greek apoplēxia, from apoplēssein ‘disable by a stroke’.