One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Dyspnoea that is most severe in recumbency and that is alleviated by assuming an upright position. In early use also: †an instance of this (obsolete).
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Phaer (?1510–1560), translator and physician. From classical Latin orthopnoea (Pliny) or its etymon ancient Greek ὀρθόπνοια from ὀρθόπνοος connected with orthopnoea + -ία -ia.
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