[ gang-green, gang-green ]
/ ˈgæŋ grin, gæŋˈgrin /


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

to affect or become affected with gangrene.

Origin of gangrene

1535–45; < Middle French gangrene (earlier cancrene) < Latin gangraena < Greek gángraina ‘an eating sore’

Related forms

gan·gre·nous [gang-gruh-nuh s] /ˈgæŋ grə nəs/, adjectivenon·gan·gre·nous, adjectiveun·gan·grened, adjectiveun·gan·gre·nous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gangrene

British Dictionary definitions for gangrene


/ (ˈɡæŋɡriːn) /


death and decay of tissue as the result of interrupted blood supply, disease, or injury
moral decay or corruption


to become or cause to become affected with gangrene

Derived Forms

gangrenous (ˈɡæŋɡrɪnəs), adjective

Word Origin for gangrene

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


[ gănggrēn′, găng-grēn ]


Death and decay of body tissue, often in a limb, caused by insufficient blood supply and usually following injury or disease.

Related forms

gangre•nous (gănggrə-nəs) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for gangrene


[ gănggrēn′ ]

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.

Culture 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.