Definitions

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A collection of pus or purulent matter in any tissue or organ of the body, the result of a morbid process.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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

Etymologies

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-1 + cēdere, to go.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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