Ascites – Definition & Meaning

Ascites is a medical condition that is characterized by the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. It is a common complication of liver disease, but can also be caused by other medical conditions. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of ascites, its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and examples of its usage.


Ascites is defined as the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, which is the space between the abdominal wall and the organs. The fluid that accumulates is called ascitic fluid, and it is usually clear or yellow in color. Ascites is usually diagnosed when a patient presents with abdominal distension, which is a swelling of the abdomen due to the accumulation of fluid.


The word ascites comes from the Greek word askos, which means bag or sac. The term was first used in the 16th century to describe the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. The condition was first described by the ancient Greeks, who believed that it was caused by an imbalance of the four humors.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, ascites is defined as “an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “the accumulation of serous fluid in the peritoneal cavity.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.”


Ascites is commonly associated with liver disease, such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and liver cancer. It can also be caused by heart failure, kidney disease, and certain types of cancer. Other conditions that can lead to ascites include pancreatitis, tuberculosis, and autoimmune diseases.


Some synonyms of ascites include abdominal dropsy, peritoneal effusion, and hydroperitoneum.


There are no antonyms for ascites, as it is a medical condition and not a word with an opposite meaning.

The same root words

Some words that share the same root as ascites include askos (Greek for bag or sac), ascus (a sac-like structure in fungi), and ascidian (a type of marine animal with a sac-like body).

Example Sentences

  1. The patient was diagnosed with ascites after presenting with abdominal distension.
  2. Ascites is a common complication of liver disease.
  3. The doctor drained the ascitic fluid from the patient’s abdomen.
  4. The patient’s ascites improved after treatment for their underlying liver disease.
  5. Ascites can be a sign of a serious medical condition and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.
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