Definition of phthisis in US English:

phthisis

noun

Medicine
archaic
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis or a similar progressive systemic disease.

    • ‘Tuberculosis, first known as phthisis or consumption, has been recognized as a leading cause of American deaths for as long as records have been kept.’
    • ‘Death rates from silicosis, miners' phthisis, and tubercular diseases were very high on the Rand.’
    • ‘In fact he had died there from phthisis on 9 December 1886: the death certificate describes him as a ‘musician’.’
    • ‘He learned to recognize pneumonia, bronchiectasis, pleurisy, emphysema, pneumothorax, phthisis, and other lung diseases from the sounds he heard with his stethoscope.’
    • ‘Several other events have acted to reignite the old problem known as phthisis, consumption, or the white plague (named for the pallor it causes).’
    thinness, boniness, scrawniness, skinniness, scragginess
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek, from phthinein ‘to decay’.

Pronunciation