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[too-ber-kuh l, tyoo-] /ˈtu bər kəl, ˈtyu-/
a small rounded projection or excrescence, as on a bone or on the surface of the body.
  1. a small, firm, rounded nodule or swelling.
  2. such a swelling as the characteristic lesion of tuberculosis.
Botany. a tuberlike swelling or nodule.
Origin of tubercle
From the Latin word tūberculum, dating back to 1570-80. See tuber1, -cle1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for tubercle


any small rounded nodule or elevation, esp on the skin, on a bone, or on a plant
any small rounded pathological lesion of the tissues, esp one characteristic of tuberculosis
Word Origin
C16: from Latin tūberculum a little swelling, diminutive of tuber
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 tubercle

1570s, from Latin tuberculum "a small swelling," diminutive of tuber "lump" (see tuber).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tubercle in Medicine

tubercle tu·ber·cle (tōō'bər-kəl, tyōō'-)

  1. An anatomical nodule. Also called tuberculum.

  2. A small elevation on the surface of a tooth.

  3. A nodule or swelling, especially a mass of lymphocytes and epithelioid cells forming the characteristic granulomatous lesion of tuberculosis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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tubercle in Science
A small rounded projection, swelling, or lump, as on the roots of legumes or on bodily tissue, especially the cluster of inflammatory cells that form in the lungs in tuberculosis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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