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noun Pathology.
  1. (formerly) a creeping or spreading skin disease, as ringworm.

Origin of serpigo

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin serpīgō, equivalent to Latin serp- (derivative of serpere to creep) + -īgō as in vertīgō vertigo; cf. herpes
Related formsser·pig·i·nous [ser-pij-uh-nuh s] /sərˈpɪdʒ ə nəs/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for serpiginous

Historical Examples

  • The ulcers have seldom the typically rounded or serpiginous outline of gummatous ulcers on other parts of the body.

    Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities--Head--Neck. Sixth Edition.

    Alexander Miles

  • The actual cautery is best for serpiginous corneal ulcers, carbolic acid being more satisfactory for those of the vesicular type.

  • When the eruption spreads at the border, clearing up at the older part; as, for instance, in the serpiginous syphiloderm.

  • Several groups may coalesce, and a serpiginous tract result (serpiginous tubercular syphiloderm).

  • It may also present the appearance of a serpiginous lupus vulgaris or syphiloderm.

British Dictionary definitions for serpiginous


  1. pathol any progressive skin eruption, such as ringworm or herpes
Derived Formsserpiginous (sɜːˈpɪdʒɪnəs), adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Medieval Latin, from Latin serpere to creep
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

serpiginous in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. Relating to or being a cutaneous lesion, such as an ulcer, having an arciform border and a wavy margin.


([object Object])
  1. Any creeping or serpiginous eruption.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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