Definition of petechia in US English:



  • A small red or purple spot caused by bleeding into the skin.

    • ‘The external autopsy examination revealed anasarca with ascites, jaundice, diffuse petechiae and purpura, and a presacral decubitus ulcer.’
    • ‘Pathological examination of the animals from the control groups showed that there were petechia on the surfaces of the kidney and pericardium, an icteric applavance of the dermis, and liver enlargement.’
    • ‘Bruising, petechiae, epistaxis, bleeding gums, excessive menses, retinal hemorrhages, intestinal bleeding, and rarely cerebral hemorrhage may occur as manifestations of the thrombocytopenia.’
    • ‘On day + 5, the patient developed fever, pneumonia, upper and lower respiratory and upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and diffuse skin petechiae.’
    • ‘In fact, some of the blood can leak out of the smaller vessels and cause petechiae (broken capillaries) in the feet and legs.’
    spot, mark, patch, pop, dot, speck, speckle, freckle, smudge, smear, streak, stain, blotch, blot, splash, dab, daub
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Late 18th century: modern Latin, from Italian petecchia, denoting a freckle or spot on the face, from Latin petigo ‘scab, eruption’.