from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A corrupting condition or influence.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To ulcerate. Fuller, Holy and Profane State, V. vi. 3.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Hence, figuratively, a sore, blot, stain, or cause of reproach, in an ethical sense: as, an ulcer of the body politic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Med.) 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.
  • noun Fig.: Anything that festers and corrupts like an open sore; a vice in character.
  • noun (Med.) an ulcer on a finger or toe, due to deficient circulation and nutrition. In such cases the extremities are cold.
  • transitive verb rare To ulcerate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun pathology 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


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

[Middle English, from Old French ulcere, from Latin ulcus, ulcer-.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin ulcus.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word ulcer.



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