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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Dropsy


DROPSY, noun [L, Gr., water; the face. Formerly written hydropisy; whence by contraction, dropsy ] In medicine, an unnatural collection of water, in an part of the body, proceeding from a greater effusion of serum by the exhalant arteries, than the absorbents take up. It occurs most frequently in persons of lax habits, or in bodies debilitated by disease. The dropsy takes different names, according to the part affected; as ascites, or dropsy of the abdomen; hydrocephalus, or water in the head; anasarca, or a watery swelling over the whole body; etc.