[uncountable] (medical) the condition of losing flesh, muscle, strength, etc. in a part of the body because it does not have enough blood (medical) muscle atrophy (figurative, formal) The cultural life of the country will sink into atrophy unless more writers and artists emerge. Word Origin late 16th cent.: from French atrophier (verb), atrophie (noun), from late Latin atrophia, from Greek,
‘lack of food’, from a- ‘without’ + trophē ‘food’.