bu·​bo | \ ˈbyü-(ˌ)bō How to pronounce bubo (audio) , ˈbü-\
plural buboes

Definition of bubo

: an inflammatory swelling of a lymph gland especially in the groin

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bubo

bubonic \ byü-​ˈbä-​nik How to pronounce bubonic (audio) , bü-​ \ adjective

Examples of bubo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There, the bacteria multiply, causing the dark, swollen lump called buboes that give the plague its name. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "4,000-year-old genomes point to origins of bubonic plague," 12 June 2018 Nevertheless, the bubonic plague, which is characterized by buboes, or swollen lymph nodes in people, is the most common form, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Idaho Boy Recovering From Plague," 14 June 2018 These prominent buboes give their name to bubonic plague. Maggie Fox, NBC News, "‘Unusually Severe’ Plague Strikes 1,800 in Madagascar," 3 Nov. 2017 This causes a painful swelling called a bubo, where the infection gets its name. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Madagascar in panic amid raging “double plague” outbreak; dozens dead," 6 Oct. 2017 While M. vespa resembles a wasp, M. bubo invokes the Latin genus for horned owls, and M. albus is covered in white fuzz. National Geographic, "Adorable New Peacock Spiders Will Rock Your World," 7 June 2016 In addition to M. vespa, the duo identified M. albus, M. bubo, M. lobatus, M. tessellatus, and M. vultus. National Geographic, "Adorable New Peacock Spiders Will Rock Your World," 7 June 2016 It is marked by the sudden appearance of bulbously swollen and painful lymph nodes (called buboes) in the groin or armpits. Liam Stack, New York Times, "Plague Is Found in New Mexico. Again.," 27 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bubo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of bubo

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bubo

Medieval Latin bubon-, bubo, from Greek boubōn

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bubo

Dictionary Entries near bubo





bubonic plague



Statistics for bubo

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bubo

The first known use of bubo was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bubo


bu·​bo | \ ˈb(y)ü-(ˌ)bō How to pronounce bubo (audio) \
plural buboes

Medical Definition of bubo

: an inflammatory swelling of a lymph node especially in the groin

Other Words from bubo

bubonic \ b(y)ü-​ˈbän-​ik How to pronounce bubonic (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on bubo

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bubo

Comments on bubo

What made you want to look up bubo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!