One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small soft swelling which is characteristic of the late stages of syphilis and occurs in the connective tissue of the liver, brain, testes, and heart.
- ‘If you have late syphilis, you may develop gummas (say: gum-mahs).’
- ‘Many patients advance to tertiary syphilis with cardiac, neurologic, and cutaneous gummas, which are painless nodules, asymmetrically distributed in groups on the face and trunk.’
Early 18th century: modern Latin, from Latin gummi (see gum).
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