[ gang-green, gang-green ]
See synonyms for: gangrenegangrenous on

  1. necrosis or death of soft tissue due to obstructed circulation, usually followed by decomposition and putrefaction.

  2. moral or spiritual corruption and decadence that pervades an individual or group: “This church body has been afflicted with a spiritual gangrene that is poisoning our relationship with the Lord,” the preacher expostulated.

verb (used with or without object),gan·grened, gan·gren·ing.
  1. to affect or become affected with gangrene.

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Origin of gangrene

First recorded in 1535–45; from Middle French gangrene (earlier cancrene ), from Latin gangraena, from Greek gángraina “an eating sore”

Other words for gangrene

Other words from gangrene

  • gan·gre·nous [gang-gruh-nuhs], /ˈgæŋ grə nəs/, adjective
  • non·gan·gre·nous, adjective
  • un·gan·grened, adjective
  • un·gan·gre·nous, adjective

Words Nearby gangrene Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use gangrene in a sentence

  • gangrene is not curable by current medical intervention once past a certain point in its progression, except by amputation.

    Can Meditation Cure Disease? | Maureen Seaberg | December 25, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • It, or a similar bacillus, is sometimes found in the sputum of gangrene of the lung.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • He thought about things like lock-jaw and gangrene and his hand trembled as he tied his pocket-handkerchief around the wound.

    Time Enough at Last | Lyn Venable
  • Only the new antibiotics he had taken along, had kept the gangrene from killing him.

    The Planet Strappers | Raymond Zinke Gallun
  • His first treatise—on gangrene and sphacelus—quickly made him known, and went through eleven editions.

  • It was as likely as not a charge of buck-shot low down in the body, leaving the rest to hemorrhage or gangrene.

    The Isle of Unrest | Henry Seton Merriman

British Dictionary definitions for gangrene


/ (ˈɡæŋɡriːn) /

  1. death and decay of tissue as the result of interrupted blood supply, disease, or injury

  2. moral decay or corruption

  1. to become or cause to become affected with gangrene

Origin of gangrene

C16: from Latin gangraena, from Greek gangraina an eating sore; related to Greek gran to gnaw

Derived forms of gangrene

  • gangrenous (ˈɡæŋɡrɪnəs), adjective

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

Scientific definitions for gangrene


[ gănggrēn′ ]

  1. Death of tissue in a living body, especially in a limb, caused by a bacterial infection resulting from a blockage of the blood supply to the affected tissue.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for gangrene


[ (gang-green, gang-green) ]

The death and decay of body tissue owing to insufficient supply of blood.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.