• synonyms


See more synonyms for nodule on Thesaurus.com
  1. a small node, knot, or knob.
  2. a small, rounded mass or lump.
  3. Botany. a tubercle.
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Origin of nodule

1590–1600; < Latin nōdulus a little knot, equivalent to nōd(us) node + -ulus -ule
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nodule

blister, abscess, bump, bruise, tumor, sore, welt, inflammation, injury, contusion, nodule, freckle, blot, wart, blotch, smudge, imperfection, pimple, snag, stigma

Examples from the Web for nodule

Historical Examples of nodule

  • The size of the fish evidently regulated that of the nodule.

    The Cruise of the Betsey

    Hugh Miller

  • Fig. 9 is from Northern Ohio, and is carved from a nodule of iron ore.

  • The gland, which is seen as a nodule, is drawn forward with forceps.

  • Nature's method of repair was a hypertrophy of the subintimal connective tissue and the formation of a nodule at that point.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension:

    Louis Marshall Warfield

  • The first of these cartilages articulates with a nodule situated a little above the middle of the first bone of the sternum.

British Dictionary definitions for nodule


  1. a small knot, lump, or node
  2. Also called: root nodule any of the knoblike outgrowths on the roots of clover and many other legumes: contain bacteria involved in nitrogen fixation
  3. anatomy any small node or knoblike protuberance
  4. a small rounded lump of rock or mineral substance, esp in a matrix of different rock material
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Derived Formsnodular, nodulose or nodulous, adjective

Word Origin for nodule

C17: from Latin nōdulus, from nōdus knot
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 nodule


early 15c., from Latin nodulus "small knot," diminutive of nodus "knot" (see net (n.)). Related: Nodulated; nodulous; nodulation.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nodule in Medicine


  1. A small node.
  2. A small mass of tissue or aggregation of cells.
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Related formsnodu•lar (nŏjə-lər) null null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

nodule in Science


  1. A small, usually hard mass of tissue in the body.
  2. A small, knoblike outgrowth found on the roots of many legumes, such as alfalfa, beans, and peas. Nodules grow after the roots have been infected with nitrogen-fixing bacteria of the genus Rhizobium. See more at legume.
  3. A small, rounded lump of a mineral or mixture of minerals that is distinct from and usually harder than the surrounding rock or sediment. Nodules often form by replacement of a small part of the rocks in which they form.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.