noun Pathology.
  1. the initial lesion of syphilis and certain other infectious diseases, commonly a more or less distinct ulcer or sore with a hard base.

Origin of chancre

1595–1605; < Middle FrenchLatin cancrum, accusative of cancer cancer
Related formschan·crous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chancre

Historical Examples of chancre

  • It may be a chancre, and it may be exceedingly serious if not properly diagnosed.

  • It is found especially on men who have suffered from gonorrha or chancre.

  • He was alarmed lest a minute pimple on his chin should develop into a chancre.

  • The disease is already systemic, or constitutional, and the chancre is the local expression of a constitutional disease.


    William J. Robinson

  • Cutting out the chancre will not cure the disease, because, as stated, the germs are already in the system.


    William J. Robinson

British Dictionary definitions for chancre


  1. pathol a small hard nodular growth, which is the first diagnostic sign of acquired syphilis
Derived Formschancrous, adjective

Word Origin for chancre

C16: from French, from Latin: cancer
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 chancre

also chanker, "venereal ulcer," c.1600, from French chancre (15c.), literally "cancer," from Latin cancer (see cancer).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chancre in Medicine


  1. The primary lesion of syphilis; a hard, nonsensitive, dull red papule or area of infiltration that begins at the site of infection after an interval of 10 to 30 days.hard chancre hard ulcer
Related formschancrous (-krəs) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.