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90s Slang You Should Know


[hwit-loh, wit-] /ˈʰwɪt loʊ, ˈwɪt-/
an inflammation of the deeper tissues of a finger or toe, especially of the terminal phalanx, usually producing suppuration.
See also felon2 .
Origin of whitlow
1350-1400; Middle English whit(f)lowe, whitflawe. See white, flaw1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for whitlow
Historical Examples
  • Paul, you land a couple of blows on whitlow and then follow Alice.

  • A felon or whitlow is a more extensive and a more serious condition.

  • The commonest form of onychia has already been referred to with whitlow.

    Manual of Surgery Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
  • "I—I expect so," said whitlow, clinging to his brief case with both hands.

    Minor Detail John Michael Sharkey
  • Insertion in hot water will cure that troublesome and fearful thing called a whitlow.

  • whitlow half-expected him to remove his hat, but he did not.

    Minor Detail John Michael Sharkey
  • whitlow smiled and smirked in the direction of his acquaintances, but he received no invitation to join them.

  • Yet, so far as I can find, whitlow is a richer man than he was three years ago.

    Hope Mills Amanda M. Douglas
  • whitlow discharged his man this winter, and took in his place a half-grown boy.

    Hope Mills Amanda M. Douglas
  • For some days Ninnis had been enduring the throbbing pain of a whitlow and had not been having sufficient sleep.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
British Dictionary definitions for whitlow


any pussy inflammation of the end of a finger or toe
Word Origin
C14: changed from whitflaw, from white + flaw1
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 whitlow

"inflammation on a finger or toe," mid-15c., alteration of whitflaw (c.1400), from flaw, with first element possibly from Dutch vijt or Low German fit "abscess."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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whitlow in Medicine

whitlow whit·low (wĭt'lō')
See felon.

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