• synonyms


[puhs-choo l]
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  1. Pathology. a small elevation of the skin containing pus.
  2. any pimplelike or blisterlike swelling or elevation.
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Origin of pustule

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin pūstula, pūsula a pimple, blister; akin to Greek phȳsaléos inflated
Related formspus·tuled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for pustule

Historical Examples

  • There was some variation in the appearance of the pustule on the arm.

    An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae

    Edward Jenner

  • The hair on the pustule stands erect, and is often shed with the scab which results.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

    United States Department of Agriculture

  • In the venereal disease the local trouble commences as a papule and breaks into an ulcer without having formed a pustule.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

    United States Department of Agriculture

  • Miss H. has small pustules and great inflammation of her arms, with but one pustule likely to suppurate.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I

    Erasmus Darwin

  • Pustule, pus′tūl, n. a small pimple containing pus: anything like a pustule, on plants or animals: a small blister.

British Dictionary definitions for pustule


  1. a small inflamed elevated area of skin containing pus
  2. any small distinct spot resembling a pimple or blister
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Derived Formspustular (ˈpʌstjʊlə), adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin pustula a blister, variant of pūsula; compare Greek phusallis bladder, phusa bellows
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 pustule


late 14c., from Old French pustule (13c.) and directly from Latin pustula "blister, pimple," from PIE imitative root *pu- (1) "blow, swell," on notion of "inflated area" (cf. Sanskrit pupphusah "lung," Greek physa "breath, blast, wind, bubble," Lithuanian puciu "to blow, swell," Old Church Slavonic puchati "to blow"). Cf. emphysema. Related: Pustulant; pustular.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pustule in Medicine


(pŭschōōl, pŭstyōōl)
  1. A small inflamed skin swelling that is filled with pus; a pimple.
  2. A small swelling similar to a blister or pimple.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pustule in Science


  1. A small inflamed swelling of the skin that is filled with pus.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.