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cor·o·nar·y (kôrə-nĕrē, kŏr-)
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adj.
1. Of, relating to, or being the coronary arteries or coronary veins.
2. Of or relating to the heart.
n. pl. cor·o·nar·ies
A coronary thrombosis or heart attack.

[Latin corōnārius, of a crown, from corōna, crown; see CROWN.]

Usage Note: Although closely related and often used interchangeably, the words coronary and cardiac are not exactly the same. Cardiac means "of, near, or relating to an area of the heart," as in cardiac disease or cardiac catheterization. In clinical medicine, the term also refers to the esophageal opening of the stomach, called the cardia. Coronary is sometimes used to refer generally to the heart, as in coronary care unit. But coronary also refers specifically to the arteries that surround and feed the heart. Coronary comes from the Latin word corona, which means "crown," or "that which encircles." Coronary artery disease, or occlusion of the coronary arteries, can cause a heart attack, the death of heart tissue, or cardiac arrest, the failure of the heart to function. · The popular use of coronary as a synonym for heart attack, as in an article that asks "Is it safe for them to continue a normal sexual life after a coronary?" is colloquial and is not usually encountered in scientific or medical writing.

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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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