Definition of edema in US English:


(British oedema)


  • A condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body.

    Also called dropsy
    • ‘Diuretics are essential for the symptomatic management of patients with lung congestion or peripheral oedema from fluid overload.’
    • ‘The result is an accumulation of fluid in the tissue - also called oedema.’
    • ‘Muscles waste away; oedema and accumulation of fluid in body cavities follows depletion of plasma proteins.’
    • ‘Seven children died from illness or injury without oedema, three in the antioxidant supplement group and four in the placebo group.’
    • ‘Treatment of elephantiasis nostras aims at prevention of recurrent infection and edema.’
    • ‘Hyponatremia in the presence of edema indicates increased total body sodium and water.’
    • ‘The disposable canister serves as a collection depot for edema fluid that is suctioned from the wound tissue.’
    • ‘Increased hypoxia in local tissues, marked oedema of the toes, or development of venous hypertension may be involved.’
    • ‘Mild edema of the medullary cavity was present in most of these cases.’
    • ‘For example, in a healthy person without oedema, the kidneys deal with surplus fluid in the body by disposing of it in the urine.’
    • ‘Fine crackles are heard with pulmonary edema, pneumonia and pulmonary fibrosis.’
    • ‘The bandages substitute for the elasticity lost by tissues engorged with edema.’
    • ‘But of course cough is a common symptom of pulmonary oedema or coexistent bronchitis, so you should also consider these causes.’
    • ‘This is not easy, as too little fluid will cause hypoperfusion whereas too much will lead to oedema that will cause tissue hypoxia.’
    • ‘Immediate clinical manifestations of acute lung injury include pneumothorax, pulmonary oedema, and air embolism.’
    • ‘The pathogenesis may involve edema and inflammation secondary to the impacted stone in the cystic duct.’
    • ‘Patients may develop blepharitis and present with ptosis secondary to edema and inflammation.’
    • ‘In compensated heart failure, symptoms are stable, and many overt features of fluid retention and pulmonary oedema are absent.’
    • ‘The risk of moderate vision loss caused by diabetic macular edema was reduced by 50 percent.’
    • ‘This reverses the gradient, causing a decrease in tissue and organ edema and associated morbidity.’


Late Middle English: modern Latin, from Greek oidēma, from oidein ‘to swell’.