One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A painless ulcer, particularly one developing on the genitals as a result of venereal disease.
sore, ulceration, open sore, abscess, boil, carbuncle, pustule, blister, cyst, gumboil, wenView synonyms
- ‘In addition to leprosy, foreigners seeking work permits are now required to be tested for tuberculosis and the sexually transmitted diseases syphilis, chlamydia and chancres.’
- ‘Primary syphilis is most often associated with a single, painless chancre, although it can manifest in other ways (i.e., multiple chancres, painful papules or ulcers, or no lesions).’
- ‘Secondary syphilis develops several weeks to months after the chancre appears.’
- ‘The subject developed, firstly, the typical gleet of gonorrhoea, then went on to produce a chancre and then the manifestations of secondary syphilis.’
- ‘The first symptom to appear is a painless chancre at the point of the microbe's entry - it is in contact with these chancres that transmission occurs.’
Late 16th century: from French, from Latin cancer ‘creeping ulcer’.
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