One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A swollen vein or group of veins in the region of the anus.Also (collectively) called piles
- ‘The concept of haemorrhoids as enlarged veins persisted until recently, when detailed anatomical studies demonstrated their soft tissue nature and the close association they have with the normal anus.’
- ‘This lack of fibre contributes directly to the common diseases of gall stones, appendicitis, haemorrhoids, diverticular disease and cancer of the colon.’
- ‘When the veins of this network become swollen with blood, haemorrhoids occur.’
- ‘They slow down production of cholesterol and blood clots, make blood vessels and supportive tissue stronger, and reduce hemorrhoids and varicose veins.’
- ‘You may have to strain, which can be painful and cause bleeding or haemorrhoids (swollen veins in the anus, also known as piles).’
Late Middle English: via Old French and Latin from Greek haimorrhoides (phlebes) ‘bleeding (veins)’, from haima ‘blood’ + an element related to rhein ‘to flow’.
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