Definitions

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

  • n. A lesion of the skin or a mucous membrane such as the one lining the stomach or duodenum that is accompanied by formation of pus and necrosis of surrounding tissue, usually resulting from inflammation or ischemia.
  • n. A corrupting condition or influence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An open sore of the skin, eyes or mucous membrane, often caused by an initial abrasion and generally maintained by an inflammation and/or an infection.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A solution of continuity in any of the soft parts of the body, discharging purulent matter, found on a surface, especially one of the natural surfaces of the body, and originating generally in a constitutional disorder; a sore discharging pus. It is distinguished from an abscess, which has its beginning, at least, in the depth of the tissues.
  • n. Fig.: Anything that festers and corrupts like an open sore; a vice in character.
  • transitive v. To ulcerate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To ulcerate. Fuller, Holy and Profane State, V. vi. 3.
  • n. A sore in any of the soft parts of the body, open either to the surface or to some natural cavity, and attended with a secretion of pus or some kind of discharge; a solution of continuity of the skin of the body, or of the investing tissue of any natural cavity, the result of morbid action, not of mechanical injury nor of a healthy reparative process.
  • n. Hence, figuratively, a sore, blot, stain, or cause of reproach, in an ethical sense: as, an ulcer of the body politic.

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

  • n. a circumscribed inflammatory and often suppurating lesion on the skin or an internal mucous surface resulting in necrosis of tissue

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French ulcere, from Latin ulcus, ulcer-.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin ulcus. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.