\ ˈsist \

Definition of cyst

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a closed sac having a distinct membrane and developing abnormally in a cavity or structure of the body
2 : a body resembling a cyst: such as
a : a resting spore of many algae
b : the air bladder of certain algae or aquatic plants (such as rockweed)
c : a capsule formed about a minute organism going into a resting or spore stage also : this capsule with its contents
d : a resistant cover about a parasite produced by the parasite or the host
variants: or cysti- or cysto-

Definition of cyst- (Entry 2 of 3)

: bladder cystitis : sac cystocarp

Definition of -cyst (Entry 3 of 3)

: bladder : sac blastocyst

Examples of cyst in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This magic thing has reduced the recovery time of my cysts from >1 month to sometimes 2 weeks or less. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "9 Best Cystic Acne Treatments Real People Swear By," 4 Oct. 2018 The pain from headaches caused by an arachnoid cyst in his brain had grown worse this season. Mitch Stacy, The Seattle Times, "Ohio State coach Urban Meyer to retire after Rose Bowl," 5 Dec. 2018 According to the news outlet, she was born with health conditions including an inoperable cyst on her brain, severe scoliosis, and cerebral palsy. Megan Stein, Country Living, "See the Incredible Moment Keith Urban Made a Dying Fan's Last Wish Come True," 20 Oct. 2018 Laparoscopy is performed to examine the abdominal wall or the female pelvic organs and diagnose problems such as cysts, adhesions, fibroids, endometriosis, or infections that might be impacting ovulation or implantation. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "Health & Fitness," 1 Oct. 2018 Doctors rushed Rahn into surgery at Jackson Hospital, and successfully removed the cyst. Julie Mazziotta,, "Woman Discovers 50-Lb. Weight Gain Is Actually a Massive Ovarian Cyst: I Looked '9 Months Pregnant'," 29 June 2018 The left is my stomach 3 weeks after a ruptured cyst (5 weeks ago). Miranda Siwak, Good Housekeeping, "Woman Shares Honest Photo of What Endometriosis Is Really Like," 21 July 2017 In other words, cancers prone to spreading (such as breast cancer or kidney cancer), can sometimes spread to the skin, causing what might look like a cyst or little red bump. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Skin Cancer: A Visual Guide to Identifying Warning Signs on Your Body," 2 July 2018 Doctors estimated the cyst had been growing inside Rahn for about a year. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, "The Health 202: Those who don't qualify for government aid aren't buying Obamacare plans," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cyst.' 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 cyst


circa 1723, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cyst


New Latin cystis, from Greek kystis bladder, pouch; akin to Sanskrit śvasiti he blows, snorts — more at wheeze

Combining form

French, from Greek kyst-, kysto-, from kystis

Noun combining form

New Latin -cystis, from Greek kystis

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Dictionary Entries near cyst



Cyrus II





Statistics for cyst

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cyst

The first known use of cyst was circa 1723

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More Definitions for cyst



English Language Learners Definition of cyst

medical : a growth filled with liquid that forms in or on your body


\ ˈsist \

Kids Definition of cyst

1 : an abnormal lump or sac that forms in or on the body
2 : a saclike structure with a protective covering or a body (as a spore) with such a covering


\ ˈsist \

Medical Definition of cyst

1 : a closed sac having a distinct membrane and developing abnormally in a body cavity or structure
2 : a body resembling a cyst: as
a : a capsule formed about a minute organism going into a resting or spore stage also : this capsule with its contents
b : a resistant cover about a parasite produced by the parasite or the host — compare hydatid sense 2a

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More from Merriam-Webster on cyst

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cyst

Spanish Central: Translation of cyst

Nglish: Translation of cyst for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cyst for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cyst

Comments on cyst

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


someone who never drinks alcohol

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