One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A blood clot, air bubble, piece of fatty deposit, or other object which has been carried in the bloodstream to lodge in a vessel and cause an embolism.
lump, clump, mass, curdlingView synonyms
- ‘If the embolus reaches a blood vessel it cannot flow through, a blockage occurs.’
- ‘Leg clots with pulmonary emboli and bed sores must be prevented.’
- ‘The embolus is carried in the blood stream until it gets stuck in a place where it forms a blockage.’
- ‘Spiral computed tomography scans are more reliable but diagnosis is limited to emboli in larger vessels only.’
- ‘The emboli lodge in lung capillaries where they obstruct pulmonary blood flow.’
Mid 17th century (denoting something inserted or moving within another, specifically the plunger of a syringe): from Latin, literally ‘piston’, from Greek embolos ‘peg, stopper’. The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.
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