Definition of asphyxia in English:



mass noun
  • A condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen, causing unconsciousness or death; suffocation.

    • ‘No concurrent or contributory cause of the brain damage is established, the only candidate apart from birth asphyxia being some prenatal pathology.’
    • ‘Perinatal asphyxia is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the neonatal period.’
    • ‘These babies are malnourished and are prone to asphyxia before and during labour.’
    • ‘The final death certificate that came from the Pentagon some time later said it was death by asphyxia and is being investigated as a homicide.’
    • ‘Similarly, many instances of intrapartum asphyxia resulting in stillbirth were of babies who were already growth restricted.’
    • ‘The remaining cases included asphyxia, aspiration, sepsis, and unknown cause.’
    • ‘While asphyxia during delivery still causes some fetal deaths, it is not a common cause of these losses.’
    • ‘They were transferred to our neonatal intensive care unit with a presumptive diagnosis of perinatal asphyxia.’
    • ‘A post-mortem examination established the cause of death was asphyxia.’
    • ‘It lists these as birth asphyxia, birth trauma and low birth weight - the conditions that arise in the perinatal period.’
    • ‘The most serious acute consequence of inhalant abuse is death, which usually occurs secondary to aspiration, accidental trauma, or asphyxia.’
    • ‘About one case will be associated with genuine perinatal asphyxia.’
    • ‘Substantial increases were noted for deaths due to asphyxia, sudden infant death syndrome, infection, and external causes.’
    • ‘The cause of death was asphyxia and blunt force injuries.’
    • ‘In old times it used to be given as an injection for such conditions as cerebral concussion and asphyxia from drowning.’
    • ‘The patient had a history of perinatal asphyxia.’
    • ‘An autopsy indicated the man died from blunt force injuries and asphyxia.’
    • ‘Until recently, it was widely believed that asphyxia (lack of oxygen) during a difficult delivery was the cause of most cases of cerebral palsy.’
    • ‘The cause of death was asphyxia and a blood alcohol level showed he was just over the legal drink drive limit.’
    • ‘In the United States and more developed regions of the world, trained health care professionals can rapidly take steps to treat asphyxia.’


Early 18th century (in the sense ‘stopping of the pulse’): modern Latin, from Greek asphuxia, from a- ‘without’ + sphuxis ‘pulse’.