See more synonyms for pus on Thesaurus.com
  1. a yellow-white, more or less viscid substance produced by suppuration and found in abscesses, sores, etc., consisting of a liquid plasma in which white blood cells are suspended.

Origin of pus

1535–45; < Latin; akin to Greek pýon pus. See pyo-
Related formspus·like, adjective
Can be confusedpus puss
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pus

Contemporary Examples of pus

  • Swelling, pus, the whole shebang; an angry reaction that lasted weeks.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Uh Oh: Ebola Vaccine Trials Stop

    Leigh Cowart

    December 19, 2014

  • At that point, Tyson had become a scavenger spewing bile and pus.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Bloody Brilliant

    Stanley Crouch

    April 24, 2009

Historical Examples of pus

British Dictionary definitions for pus


  1. the yellow or greenish fluid product of inflammation, composed largely of dead leucocytes, exuded plasma, and liquefied tissue cells

Word Origin for pus

C16: from Latin pūs; related to Greek puon pus
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 pus

late 14c., from Latin pus "pus, matter from a sore;" figuratively "bitterness, malice" (related to puter "rotten;" cf. putrid), from PIE *pu- (2) "to rot, decay" (cf. Sanskrit puyati "rots, stinks," putih "stinking, foul;" Greek puon "discharge from a sore," pythein "to cause to rot;" Gothic fuls, Old English ful "foul"), perhaps originally echoic of a natural exclamation of disgust.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pus in Medicine


  1. A generally viscous, yellowish-white fluid formed in infected tissue, consisting of white blood cells, cellular debris, and necrotic tissue.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pus in Science


  1. A thick, yellowish-white liquid that forms in infected body tissues, consisting of white blood cells, dead tissue, and cellular debris.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.