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

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Other Words from bubo

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

Examples of bubo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Porters greeting the ships found a grisly sight: a few ill sailors, their bodies ravaged with black, oozing buboes, standing on deck among their dead crewmates. Fox News, "History's 5 deadliest pandemics and epidemics," 22 Apr. 2020 The inflamed lymph gland was widely known as a bubo, giving rise to the term bubonic plague. National Geographic, "Indeed, historians have argued that the Black Death paved the way for a new wave of opportunity, creativity, and wealth from which would flourish the art, culture, and ideas of the Renaissance, and the beginnings of a recognizably modern Europe.," 23 Apr. 2020 Pus filled buboes then grow on parts of the body -- generally in the armpit and groin area -- and a fever develops. Fox News, "History's 5 deadliest pandemics and epidemics," 22 Apr. 2020 But, within a few days, victims developed the classic symptoms of bubonic plague—lumps, or buboes, in their groin and under their arms. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, "Pandemics and the Shape of Human History," 30 Mar. 2020 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

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.

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First Known Use of bubo

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bubo

Medieval Latin bubon-, bubo, from Greek boubōn

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Time Traveler for bubo

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Bubo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bubo. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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 bubo (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on bubo

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bubo

Comments on bubo

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