Etymology: Late Latin atrophia, from Greek, from atrophos ill fed, from a- + trephein to nourish
1. decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue; also arrested development or loss of a part or organ incidental to the normal development or life of an animal or plant
2. a wasting away or progressive decline ; degeneration <the atrophy of freedom> < • atrophic adjective • atrophy verb
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.