Failure of full expansion associated with the lung at birth, or lung failure thereafter. Also referred to as collapsed lung.
"incomplete expansion of the lung area," 1836, health Latin, from Greek ateles "imperfect, partial," virtually "without a conclusion," (from a-, privative prefix, + telos "conclusion") + ektosis "extention." Related: Atelectatic.
collapse of a broadened lung (especially in babies); also failure of pulmonary alveoli to grow at birth