[ fes-ter ]
/ ˈfɛs tər /

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to cause to rankle: Malice festered his spirit.


an ulcer; a rankling sore.
a small, purulent, superficial sore.

Origin of fester

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English festir, festre < Anglo-French, Old French festre < Latin fistula fistula (for -l- > -r- cf. chapter); (v.) Middle English festryn, derivative of the noun or < Old French festrir
Related formsun·fes·tered, adjectiveun·fes·ter·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fester

British Dictionary definitions for fester


/ (ˈfɛstə) /


to form or cause to form pus
(intr) to become rotten; decay
to become or cause to become bitter, irritated, etc, esp over a long period of time; rankleresentment festered his imagination
(intr) informal to be idle or inactive


a small ulcer or sore containing pus

Word Origin for fester

C13: from Old French festre suppurating sore, from Latin: fistula
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

Medicine definitions for fester


[ fĕstər ]


To ulcerate.
To form pus; putrefy.


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