cor·o·nar·y (kôrə-nĕr′ē, kŏr-)
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.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus