Definition of aphtha in English:



  • 1A small ulcer occurring in groups in the mouth or on the tongue.

    • ‘Herpetiform aphthae often appear in the back of the mouth, and usually heal within a month.’
    • ‘The cause of aphthae is still uncertain but hereditary factors are certainly significant with approximately 40% of people who get them having a family history of aphthae.’
    • ‘Recurrent aphthae constitute the most common oral mucosal disease and affects up to 25% of the population.’
    • ‘There is considerable overlap between the various types of aphthae and more than one type can be present at one time.’
    • ‘Several conditions should be considered in the differential diagnosis when evaluating patients with recurrent aphthae.’
    sore, ulceration, open sore, abscess, boil, carbuncle, pustule, blister, cyst, gumboil, wen
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun A condition in which aphthae occur.
      • ‘Which food would you recommend for someone suffering from aptha?’
      • ‘The preventive action against development of sores caused by a new denture or against aphtha is also effective.’


Mid 17th century: via Latin from Greek, connected with haptein ‘set on fire’.