Definitions

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

  • noun A localized collection of pus in part of the body, formed by tissue disintegration and surrounded by an inflamed area.
  • intransitive verb To form an abscess.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In medicine, a collection of pus in the tissues of any part of the body.

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

  • noun (Med.) A collection of pus or purulent matter in any tissue or organ of the body, the result of a morbid process.
  • noun an abscess of slow formation, unattended with the pain and heat characteristic of ordinary abscesses, and lasting for years without exhibiting any tendency towards healing; a chronic abscess.

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

  • verb intransitive To form a pus filled cavity typically from an infection.

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

  • noun symptom consisting of a localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue

Etymologies

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

[Latin abscessus, separation, abscess, from past participle of abscēdere, to go away, slough, form an abscess (possibly translation of Greek apostēma, distance, abscess, from aphistasthai, to withdraw, slough, form an abscess) : ab-, away; see ab– + cēdere, to go; see ked- in Indo-European roots.]

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