coma

Medically speaking, a coma is the state of protective deep sleep your body goes into when severely injured, as in a car crash. Daytime soap operas would be lost without a good coma every few weeks.

Coma comes from the Greek koma meaning "deep sleep." As with so many words with medical or scientific origins, coma has been appropriated for a far wider range of uses. The zombie-like trance you fall into at family get-togethers like Thanksgiving? That too is a coma, though your chances of recovery are far better than from a real coma. Unless you happen to sit next to Aunt Sadie.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: coma

1
n
a state of deep and often prolonged unconsciousness; usually the result of disease or injury
2
n
(astronomy) the luminous cloud of particles surrounding the frozen nucleus of a comet; forms as the comet approaches the sun and is warmed
3
n
(botany) a usually terminal tuft of bracts (as in the pineapple) or tuft of hairs (especially on certain seeds)
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: coma
1

n a state of deep and often prolonged unconsciousness; usually the result of disease or injury

Synonyms:
comatoseness
Types:
Kussmaul's coma, diabetic coma
coma that can develop in inadequately treated cases of diabetes mellitus
hepatic coma
coma that can occur in severe cases of liver disease
Type of:
unconsciousness
a state lacking normal awareness of the self or environment
2

n (astronomy) the luminous cloud of particles surrounding the frozen nucleus of a comet; forms as the comet approaches the sun and is warmed

Type of:
cloud
any collection of particles (e.g., smoke or dust) or gases that is visible
3

n (botany) a usually terminal tuft of bracts (as in the pineapple) or tuft of hairs (especially on certain seeds)

Type of:
tuft, tussock
a bunch of hair or feathers or growing grass
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