[byoo-boh, boo-]

noun, plural bu·boes. Pathology.

an inflammatory swelling of a lymphatic gland, especially in the groin or armpit.

Origin of bubo

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin < Greek boubṓn literally, groin
Related formsbu·boed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bubo

Historical Examples of bubo

  • When the chancroid is healed and the bubo becomes a scar the disease is cured.

  • Phidias made them, and Bubo and Bombax dressed them in purple.

    Devereux, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • In such cases the fight, which is the illness, takes place chiefly in the bubo.

    The Flea

    Harold Russell

  • No plague bacilli were found either in the bubo of the first or second order.


    Thomas Wright Jackson

  • After the bubo has been opened the wound may take on the characters of a soft sore.

    Manual of Surgery

    Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles

British Dictionary definitions for bubo


noun plural -boes

pathol inflammation and swelling of a lymph node, often with the formation of pus, esp in the region of the armpit or groin
Derived Formsbubonic (bjuːˈbɒnɪk), adjective

Word Origin for bubo

C14: from Medieval Latin bubō swelling, from Greek boubōn groin, glandular swelling
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

Word Origin and History for bubo

late 14c., plural buboes, from Late Latin bubo (genitive bubonis) "swelling of lymph glands" (in the groin), from Greek boubon "the groin, swelling in the groin."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for bubo



n. pl. bu•boes

Inflammatory swelling of one or more lymph nodes, especially in the groin.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for bubo



Plural buboes

A swelling of a lymph node, especially of the armpit or groin, that is characteristic of bubonic plague.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.