Definition of empyema in English:



  • The collection of pus in a cavity in the body, especially in the pleural cavity.

    [mass noun] ‘the treatment of empyema’
    [count noun] ‘an empyema associated with liver abscesses’
    • ‘A parapneumonic effusion was defined as one associated with bacterial pneumonia, including empyema.’
    • ‘Subsequent studies have shown that the penetration of aminoglycosides, particularly gentamicin, into the pleural fluid is poor if an empyema is present.’
    • ‘These complications include pleural infection or empyema, meningitis, purulent pericarditis, or endocarditis.’
    • ‘In this review we discuss the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of pneumothorax, pleural effusion, and empyema.’
    • ‘Thoracic empyema is defined as an infection of the pleural space associated with the formation of thick, purulent, pleural fluid.’
    • ‘An empyema or complicated pleural effusion can be identified only by examination of the pleural fluid.’


Late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek empuēma, from empuein suppurate, from em- in + puon pus.