n. pl. at·ro·phies
1. A wasting or decrease in size of a body organ, tissue, or part owing to disease, injury, or lack of use: muscular atrophy of a person affected with paralysis.
2. A wasting away, deterioration, or diminution: intellectual atrophy.
v. at·ro·phied, at·ro·phy·ing, at·ro·phies
To cause to wither or deteriorate; affect with atrophy.
To waste away; wither or deteriorate.
[Late Latin atrophia, from Greek atrophiā, from atrophos, ill-nourished : a-, without; see A-1 + trophē, food.]
a·trophic (ā-trŏfĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.