• synonyms


  1. abnormally or unusually enlarged or swollen: a varicose vein.
  2. pertaining to or affected with varices, which often affect the superficial portions of the lower limbs.
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Origin of varicose

First recorded in 1720–30, varicose is from the Latin word varicōsus suffering from varicose veins. See varix, -ose1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for varicose

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There is nothing left; the varicose enlargement, the ulcers, have all disappeared.

  • My corns ache, I get gouty, and my prejudices swell like varicose veins.

    Old Fogy

    James Huneker

  • The man with the varicose veins, however, was at once accepted.

  • Varicose: Having prominent and tortuous formations on the shell.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • A vein of bad blood that tainted all, varicose, sluggish, intractable.


    R. D. Blackmore

British Dictionary definitions for varicose


  1. of or resulting from varicose veinsa varicose ulcer
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Word Origin

C18: from Latin varicōsus, from varix
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 varicose


1730, from Latin varicosus "full of dilated veins," from varix (genitive varicis) "dilated vein," probably related to varus "blotch, pimple" (see vary).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

varicose in Medicine


  1. Relating to, affected with, or characterized by varices or varicosis.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.