Definitions

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

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To produce a gangrene in; mortify; hence, figuratively, to cause decay or destruction in.
  • To become mortified.
  • noun 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).
  • noun In botany, a disease ending in putrid decay.

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

  • noun (Med.) 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.
  • verb To produce gangrene in; to be affected with gangrene.

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

  • noun The necrosis or rotting of flesh, usually caused by lack of blood supply.
  • noun figuratively A damaging or corrupting influence.
  • verb transitive To produce gangrene in.
  • verb intransitive To be affected with gangrene.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Medieval Latin cancrēna, from Latin gangraena, gangrēna, from Greek gangraina.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin gangraena ("gangrene"), from Ancient Greek γάγγραινα (gaggraina, "gangrene"), from γραίνειν (grainein, "gnaw").

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