Definition of quinsy in US English:



  • Inflammation of the throat, especially an abscess in the region of the tonsils.

    • ‘Our trial was not designed to study whether penicillin would prevent quinsy or peritonsillar cellulitis.’
    • ‘They adhered to the policy for almost a year, during which they observed an unprecedented rise in the number of patients with quinsy (diagnosis confirmed on admission to hospital).’
    • ‘Nobody ever gets shingles or quinsy, or mumps in a novel.’
    • ‘It was a nightmare, especially when I developed quinsy, a type of abscess, in my right tonsil.’
    • ‘I examined him flat on the bed: the pharynx was a little red, but there was no quinsy or obvious swelling, and no cervical lymphadenopathy.’
    • ‘Troubled by quinsy for his entire life, he often sacrificed his own health to build the organization.’
    • ‘Penicillin V may reduce the development of streptococcal sequelae, such as quinsy, scarlet fever, or impetigo’
    • ‘A new study from Holland, published in this week's issue, has confirmed that antibiotics protect against quinsy.’


Middle English: from Old French quinencie, from medieval Latin quinancia, from Greek kunankhē ‘canine quinsy’, from kun- ‘dog’ + ankhein ‘throttle’.