One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A prolonged state of deep unconsciousness, caused especially by severe injury or illness.‘she went into a coma’
unconsciousness, insensibility, stupor, oblivion, inertiaView synonyms
- ‘Severe toxicity leads to coma, profound hypotension, bradycardia, and asystolic arrest.’
- ‘The highest possible score is 15, and the lowest possible score is three, which indicates the most severe, deep coma.’
- ‘After sustaining a severe heart attack in 1973, my grandmother sank into a deep coma and was placed on life support systems in the hospital.’
- ‘Hyperglycemia is a condition in which the blood sugar is high and the person may go into a diabetic coma stage.’
- ‘Every now and then people in a deep coma are wrongly declared dead, and survive the experience.’
- ‘This is often associated with deep and prolonged coma.’
- ‘Only patients with severe brain trauma, in a deep coma, do not respond.’
- ‘The four-year-old was carried into the hospital in a deep coma, with a high temperature and a high level of malaria parasite in his bloodstream.’
- ‘People can recover from comas, but not brain death.’
- ‘More recently, some clinicians have tried to induce comas in patients whose brain damage doesn't come from a head injury.’
- ‘Conversely, the recovery of people from what we would call comas or deep sleep could be interpreted as an example of miraculous resurrection, perhaps accounting in part for the enduring popularity of saintly healing.’
- ‘There were several other rushed trips in ambulances to hospitals, going into comas and not knowing whether she'd come out.’
- ‘To treat a patient in a diabetic coma in hospital is also far more expensive than to provide maintenance doses of insulin.’
- ‘Isn't it time you were lured into a prolonged, sophisticated coma?’
- ‘A large pulse through his brain sent him into a deep coma in which he slept for days.’
- ‘Reye's syndrome can eventually lead to a coma and brain death.’
- ‘Headache, fever and drowsiness can lead to a deep coma but only very rarely.’
- ‘Her doctors induced a coma in order to stop the spread of the infection.’
- ‘In one plot a taxi driver, who doesn't realise that he has diabetes despite having the classic symptoms, collapses into a coma in his car.’
- ‘He had been in a deep coma at the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability after suffering severe brain damage.’
- 1.1humorous A state of extreme lethargy or sleepiness.‘after the film I settled into a coma’
- ‘He would fall asleep on the sofa, claiming food coma, proclaiming it to be a compliment.’
- ‘This morning when slipping into my usual aural coma I found my mind wandering to a advertisement I'd caught a flash of by the side of the road from the bus on the way in.’
- ‘Ah yes, the food coma - the medical excuse to fall asleep on the couch.’
- ‘Like I said, sorry for whatever may transpire, though alcohol coma may come before I get to any commenting or posting.’
- ‘You don't want to be in a food coma after the meal for obvious reasons.’
Mid 17th century: modern Latin, from Greek kōma ‘deep sleep’; related to koitē ‘bed’ and keisthai ‘lie down’.
1A diffuse cloud of gas and dust surrounding the nucleus of a comet.
- ‘He had acquired some sand in his pockets, and now he was charging them up and releasing them into the air like the coma of a comet.’
- ‘Rosetta's instruments will analyse the gases and dust grains in the coma that forms when the comet becomes active, as well as the interaction with the solar wind.’
- ‘As it approaches the Sun, heat causes ices in the nucleus to sublimate, creating a cloud of gas and dust known as the coma.’
- ‘The second explanation is that the X-rays are just solar X-rays scattered by the dust present in the coma.’
- ‘Since comets are mostly composed of ices, their outer layer vaporises as they approach the Sun, forming a cloud of gas and dust called the coma, which gives them a fuzzy appearance.’
- 1.1Optics mass noun Aberration which causes the image of an off-axis point to be flared like a comet.
- ‘These Seidel sums correspond to spherical aberration, coma, astigmatism, Petzval curvature and distortion.’
- ‘For the first time in optical design, aberration, diffraction and coma were described and understood.’
- ‘The light from the null corrector goes to the mirror under test, and the alignment consists of pointing the corrector so that the return image is free of coma.’
Early 17th century (in botanical sense ‘tuft of hairs on seed’): via Latin from Greek komē ‘hair of the head’.
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