Definition of aphtha in US English:



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

    • ‘There is considerable overlap between the various types of aphthae and more than one type can be present at one time.’
    • ‘Recurrent aphthae constitute the most common oral mucosal disease and affects up to 25% of the population.’
    • ‘Several conditions should be considered in the differential diagnosis when evaluating patients with recurrent aphthae.’
    • ‘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.’
    sore, ulceration, open sore, abscess, boil, carbuncle, pustule, blister, cyst, gumboil, wen
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A condition in which aphthae occur.
      • ‘The preventive action against development of sores caused by a new denture or against aphtha is also effective.’
      • ‘Which food would you recommend for someone suffering from aptha?’


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