Definition of acne in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈakni/


[mass noun]
A skin condition characterized by red pimples on the skin, especially on the face, due to inflamed or infected sebaceous glands and prevalent chiefly among adolescents: he was clean-shaven with a face that had been ravaged by acne when younger
More example sentences
  • In fact, androgen levels do not correlate with acne severity among people with acne.
  • I have never really suffered from acne, but the skin in these areas is covered in blackheads.
  • Anabolic steroids, sometimes used by body-builders, can cause acne as a side-effect.



Example sentences
  • I was paired up with the short, pudgy, acned boy I had stood next to, and Miss Johnson demonstrated the main steps before starting us off.
  • One of those clever but acned young men at Central Office has worked out that, after abolishing verbs, the Prime Minister won two landslide election victories.
  • The barman, acned and sneaking drinks behind the bar, watches.


Mid 19th century: via modern Latin from Greek aknas, a misreading of akmas, accusative plural of akmē 'highest point, peak, or facial eruption'; compare with acme.

  • acme from late 16th century:

    In Greek akmē meant ‘point’ or ‘pinnacle, highest point’. Its use in English dates from the late 15th century, although for the next hundred years or so it was consciously used as a Greek word and written in Greek letters. For many people their first exposure to the word comes from the ‘Looney Tunes’ cartoons featuring the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, where the characters buy products from the Acme company. ‘Acme’ was a real brand name for various US firms in the last two decades of the 19th century, chosen in part because the word comes near the top of any alphabetical list of suppliers. Acne (mid 19th century) the skin condition, has a similar root. The idea is that all those red pimples are little points sticking up from someone's face.

Words that rhyme with acne

Arachne, hackney

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: acne

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