from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A chronic respiratory disease, often arising from allergies, that is characterized by sudden recurring attacks of labored breathing, chest constriction, and coughing.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A long-term respiratory condition, in which the airways may unexpectedly and suddenly narrow, often in response to an allergen, cold air, exercise, or emotional stress. Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A disease, characterized by difficulty of breathing (due to a spasmodic contraction of the bronchi), recurring at intervals, accompanied with a wheezing sound, a sense of constriction in the chest, a cough, and expectoration.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A paroxysmal disorder of respiration, characterized by labored breathing, sibilant rales, a feeling of constriction in the chest, and cough.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. respiratory disorder characterized by wheezing; usually of allergic origin
Middle English asma, from Medieval Latin, from Greek asthma.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἆσθμα (asthma, "laborous breathing"). (Wiktionary)