from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Death and decay of body tissue, often occurring in a limb, caused by insufficient blood supply and usually following injury or disease.
  • transitive v. To affect or become affected with gangrene.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The necrosis or rotting of flesh, usually caused by lack of blood supply.
  • n. A damaging or corrupting influence.
  • v. To produce gangrene in.
  • v. To be affected with gangrene.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A term formerly restricted to mortification of the soft tissues which has not advanced so far as to produce complete loss of vitality; but now applied to mortification of the soft parts in any stage.
  • v. To produce gangrene in; to be affected with gangrene.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To produce a gangrene in; mortify; hence, figuratively, to cause decay or destruction in.
  • To become mortified.
  • n. In pathology, a necrosis or mortification of soft tissues when the parts affected become dry, hard, and dark in color (dry gangrene or mummification), or when, remaining soft and moist, the parts fall a prey to septic organisms and undergo putrefaction (moist gangrene or sphacelus).
  • n. In botany, a disease ending in putrid decay.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. necrotic tissue; a mortified or gangrenous part or mass
  • n. the localized death of living cells (as from infection or the interruption of blood supply)
  • v. undergo necrosis


Medieval Latin cancrēna, from Latin gangraena, gangrēna, from Greek gangraina.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin gangraena ("gangrene"), from Ancient Greek γάγγραινα (gaggraina, "gangrene"), from γραίνειν (grainein, "gnaw"). (Wiktionary)


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