AskDefine | Define congestion

Dictionary Definition



1 excessive accumulation of blood or other fluid in a body part
2 excessive crowding; "traffic congestion" [syn: over-crowding]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The act of gathering into a heap or mass; accumulation.
  2. An excess of traffic etc.
  3. Overfullness of the capillary and other blood vessels, etc., in any locality or organ (often producing other morbid symptoms); local hyper/mia, active or passive; as, arterial congestion; venous congestion.
  4. An excess of mucus or fluid in the respiratory system; congestion of the lungs, or nasal congestion.


act of gathering into a heap or mass
excess of traffic etc.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Congestion is a state of excessive accumulation or overfilling or overcrowding. In specific contexts the word has a more precise definition and usage.
  • In telecommunication, the term has the following meanings:
    1. In a communications switch, a state or condition that occurs when more subscribers attempt simultaneously to access the switch than it is able to handle, even if unsaturated.
    2. In a saturated communications system, the condition that occurs when an additional demand for service occurs.
    3. Network congestion.
  • In medicine and pathology the term is used to describe excessive accumulation of blood or other fluid in a particular part of the body, such as nasal congestion.
  • Traffic congestion occurs when the volume of traffic exceeds the capacity of a roadway.
  • In electric power transmission, it means the inability to supply an area with the cheapest available generation due to a binding constraint on the point to point transmission route. Some plant or equipment could be causing the constraint due to thermal overload or security limits being potentially breached.
congestion in German: Stau
congestion in Dutch: Congestie
congestion in Japanese: 輻輳
congestion in Polish: Kongestia
congestion in Finnish: Ruuhkautuminen

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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