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

  • noun A swelling or enlarging.
  • noun A swollen condition.
  • noun A swollen part or organ.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state of growing tumid; tumefaction.
  • noun A swelling, tumid part, or tumor; an intumescence.

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

  • noun The act of becoming tumid; the state of being swollen; intumescence; -- applied especially to the state of swelling of the vascular tissue in the male and female sex organs when they have been stimulated to readiness for sexual intercourse.

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

  • noun A swelling due to the presence of fluid.
  • noun A swollen bodily organ; used especially of erectile tissue.

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

  • noun tumidity resulting from the presence of blood or other fluid in the tissues


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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



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

  • From a review of the X-Files episode 'Je Souhaite,' maybe the first time I can remember actually bursting into laughter because of something I read on the Internet (in my defense, I was only thirteen at the time...):

    "Who says you don't learn anything from television. This week on The X-Files we learned the fancy shmancy got-it-past-the-censors way to say 'death by a huge hard-on': 'extreme priapic condition'

    or 'chronic morbid tumescence.'"

    March 21, 2008

  • Etymology at tumescent.

    April 19, 2018