Occlusion is either the act of blocking something or a specific blockage. There can be occlusions blocking the street or your arteries. When dentists say occlusion, they’re talking about what your teeth look like when your mouth is closed.

An occlusion blocks anything that flows, like cars, people, water, or blood. You can say there's occlusion if a pipe is clogged. If you find out a golf ball was in the pipe, the ball was an occlusion. This word applies to things that block and the act of blocking. People have heart attacks when there's occlusion in their arteries. An overturned truck would be an occlusion on the highway. Occlusions are in the way.

Primary Meanings of occlusion

the act of blocking
(dentistry) the normal spatial relation of the teeth when the jaws are closed
(meteorology) a composite front when colder air surrounds a mass of warm air and forces it aloft
Full Definitions of occlusion

n the act of blocking

blockage, closure
the initial occluded phase of a stop consonant
Type of:
the act of obstructing

n closure or blockage (as of a blood vessel)

show 12 types...
hide 12 types...
a closure of the larynx that blocks the passage of air to the lungs
occlusion of a blood vessel by an embolus (a loose clot or air bubble or other particle)
occlusion of a blood vessel by an embolus that has broken away from a thrombus
the formation or presence of a thrombus (a clot of coagulated blood attached at the site of its formation) in a blood vessel
coronary occlusion
occlusion of a coronary artery caused either by progressive atherosclerosis or by a blood clot
aeroembolism, air embolism, gas embolism
obstruction of the circulatory system caused by an air bubble as, e.g., accidentally during surgery or hypodermic injection or as a complication from scuba diving
fat embolism
serious condition in which fat blocks an artery; fat can enter the blood stream after a long bone is fractured or if adipose tissue is injured or as a result of a fatty liver
pulmonary embolism
blockage of the pulmonary artery by foreign matter or by a blood clot
cerebral thrombosis
a blood clot in a cerebral artery or vein
coronary, coronary thrombosis
obstruction of blood flow in a coronary artery by a blood clot (thrombus)
milk leg, phlegmasia alba dolens, white leg
painful thrombosis of the femoral vein in the leg following childbirth
phlebothrombosis, venous thrombosis
thrombosis of a vein without prior inflammation of the vein; associated with sluggish blood flow (as in prolonged bedrest or pregnancy or surgery) or with rapid coagulation of the blood
Type of:
a sudden occurrence of an uncontrollable condition

n an obstruction in a pipe or tube

block, blockage, closure, stop, stoppage
show 11 types...
hide 11 types...
breech closer, breechblock
a metal block in breech-loading firearms that is withdrawn to insert a cartridge and replaced to close the breech before firing
plug, stopper, stopple
blockage consisting of an object designed to fill a hole tightly
vapor lock, vapour lock
a stoppage in a pipeline caused by gas bubbles (especially a stoppage that develops in hot weather in an internal-combustion engine when fuel in the gas line boils and forms bubbles that block the flow of gasoline to the carburetor)
bung, spile
a plug used to close a hole in a barrel or flask
bottle cork, cork
the plug in the mouth of a bottle (especially a wine bottle)
a removable plug for holding water in a tub or basin
a plug of cotton, wax, or rubber that is fitted into the ear canal for protection against the entry of water or loud noise
a wooden plug forming a flue pipe (as the mouthpiece of a recorder)
tampion, tompion
plug for the muzzle of a gun to keep out dust and moisture
plug of cotton or other absorbent material; inserted into wound or body cavity to absorb exuded fluids (especially blood)
spigot, tap
a plug for a bunghole in a cask
Type of:
impediment, impedimenta, obstructer, obstruction, obstructor
any structure that makes progress difficult

n (dentistry) the normal spatial relation of the teeth when the jaws are closed

Type of:
position, spatial relation
the spatial property of a place where or way in which something is situated

n (meteorology) a composite front when colder air surrounds a mass of warm air and forces it aloft

occluded front
Type of:
(meteorology) the atmospheric phenomenon created at the boundary between two different air masses

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.