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[kair-eez, -ee-eez] /ˈkɛər iz, -iˌiz/
noun, plural caries.
decay, as of bone or of plant tissue.
Origin of caries
First recorded in 1625-35, caries is from the Latin word cariēs decay
Can be confused
caries, carries.


[kar-ee] /ˈkær i/
a female given name, form of Caroline. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for caries


noun (pl) -ies
progressive decay of a bone or a tooth
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: decay; related to Greek kēr death
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for caries

1630s, from Latin caries "rottenness, decay," from Proto-Italic *kas-, usually said to be from PIE root *kere- "to injure, break apart" (cf. Greek ker "death, destruction," Old Irish krin "withered, faded"). Related: Carious. But de Vaan writes that "semantically, caries may just as well belong to careocared 'to lack' as 'defect, state of defectiveness' ...."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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caries in Medicine

caries car·ies (kâr'ēz)
n. pl. caries
Decay of a bone or tooth, especially dental caries.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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caries in Science

Plural caries
Decay of a bone or tooth. Dental plaque formed by bacteria initiates a progressive process of decay that, if left unchecked, leads to tooth loss.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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