Share this entry

Share this page

abscess

Line breaks: ab|scess
Pronunciation: /ˈabsɪs
 
, -sɛs/

Definition of abscess in English:

noun

A swollen area within body tissue, containing an accumulation of pus: once the abscesses burst, they usually discharge for several days before gradually healing up figurative one of his priorities as prime minister was to lance the abscess of corruption
More example sentences
  • Surgery may be necessary to drain abscesses, debride infected tissue, or stabilize the spine and relieve spinal cord compression.
  • However, subcutaneous injections can cause abscesses and granulomas.
  • Cerebral abscesses are typically circumscribed lesions with surrounding vasogenic edema.
Synonyms
Scottish plook;
inflammation, infection, eruption

Origin

mid 16th century: from Latin abscessus 'a going away', from the verb abscedere, from ab- 'away from' + cedere 'go', referring to the elimination of infected matter via the pus.

More
  • cede from (early 16th century):

    Cede is from French céder or Latin cedere ‘to yield, give way, go’. Cedere is a rich source of English words including abscess (mid 16th century) ‘going away’ (of the infection when it bursts); access [Middle English] ‘go to’; ancestor (Middle English) someone who went ante ‘before’; antecedent (Late Middle English) from the same base as ancestor; cease (Middle English); concede (Late Middle English) to give way completely; decease (Middle English) ‘go away’; exceed (Late Middle English) to go beyond a boundary; intercede (late 16th century) go between; predecessor (Late Middle English) one who went away before; proceed (Late Middle English) to go forward; recede (Late Middle English) ‘go back’; and succeed (Late Middle English) ‘come close after’.

Derivatives

abscessed

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • For a faster recovery from an abscessed tooth, apply a warm-water compress and rinse with warm salt water.
  • Locate dental problems such as cavities, abscessed teeth and other tooth and jaw abnormalities
  • This allows anesthesia of the area long enough to introduce the blade into the abscessed area for drainage.

Definition of abscess in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…