Definition of abscess in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘Abscesses can be differentiated from brain tumours because abscesses tend to have smoother edges.’
    • ‘Brain abscesses are a medical emergency because they can raise the pressure on the brain to a point that may be fatal.’
    • ‘Cerebral abscesses are typically circumscribed lesions with surrounding vasogenic edema.’
    • ‘Around 40% of brain abscesses are caused by infections spread from areas nearby in the body, in the nose, throat and ear areas.’
    • ‘Surgery may be necessary to drain abscesses, debride infected tissue, or stabilize the spine and relieve spinal cord compression.’
    • ‘If untreated, jaundice can lead to infection and abscesses in the liver, which can be fatal.’
    • ‘However, subcutaneous injections can cause abscesses and granulomas.’
    • ‘At least 75% of cerebral abscesses are associated with infections elsewhere in the body.’
    • ‘Most epidural abscesses are located posteriorly in the thoracic or lumbar spine.’
    • ‘The neurologist who examined her found and drained an epidural abscess from the lumbar region.’
    • ‘A more complicated operation is needed to drain an abscess from inside the body.’
    • ‘It was felt the likely cause of the abscess was an open lesion from the patient's severe eczema.’
    • ‘Your GP will normally prescribe oral antibiotics to fight the infection before an abscess has a chance to develop.’
    • ‘We also recorded the presence and severity of scabies, abscesses, and fungal lesions.’
    • ‘Most brain abscesses occur when infection spreads to the brain from elsewhere in the body, mostly from nearby areas such as the ears.’
    • ‘In order to treat a tooth with an abscess your dentist will drain the abscess to release the pressure and relieve pain.’
    • ‘Three cases involved a septic knee joint, and two patients developed subcutaneous abscesses.’
    • ‘Symptoms often depend on whereabouts in the body the abscess occurs.’
    • ‘Unlike staphylococci, which tend to cause localised infections such as abscesses, streptococci are essentially organisms that spread.’
    • ‘A history of fever, chills or urinary tract infection suggests an infected cyst or an abscess.’
    ulcer, ulceration, cyst, boil, blister, sore, pustule, carbuncle, pimple, spot, papule, wen, whitlow, vesication, furuncle, canker
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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.