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carbuncle Line breaks: car|bun¦cle
Pronunciation: /ˈkɑːbʌŋk(ə)l/

Definition of carbuncle in English:


1A severe abscess or multiple boil in the skin, typically infected with staphylococcus bacteria.
Example sentences
  • It can be made into a salve or the tincture can be painted on boils, felons, carbuncles, abscesses, inflamed acne, cellulitis and other local inflammations.
  • Usually the staphylococcal bacteria are not concentrated enough to do any harm, but sometimes they pass deeper into the skin to cause boils, abscesses, styes and carbuncles.
  • This is particularly true of inflammatory conditions such as boils and carbuncles - painful, pus-filled bumps that form under your skin when bacteria infect one or more of your hair follicles.
boil, blister, sore, abscess, pustule, pimple, spot, wart, papule, wen, whitlow, canker;
swelling, lump, growth, outgrowth, eruption, infection, inflammation;
Scottish  plook
technical vesication, furuncle
2A bright red gem, in particular a garnet cut en cabochon.
Example sentences
  • But the buckle on her belt was the shape of a circle of thorns surrounding a bright red carbuncle, like the tattoo on the nape of her neck.
  • Behind the guard was another, but he seemed to be more of a mage, with flowing red robes and an oaken staff with a brilliant carbuncle sapphire in its top.
  • Stones of deep red color like glowing carbuncles are let into gilded woodwork, and Limoges enamels ornament the walls.


Pronunciation: /kɑːˈbʌŋkjʊlə/
Example sentences
  • Two cases of anthracoid or carbuncular eruptions due to iodides are reported.
  • The returns of the Registrar-General for this year exhibit a higher mortality from carbuncular diseases than those of any preceding one.
  • The local and constitutional symptoms became progressively more intense; and when first seen he had an extensive carbuncular infection.


Middle English (in sense 2): from Old French charbuncle, from Latin carbunculus 'small coal', from carbo 'coal, charcoal'.

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