ec·​chy·​mo·​sis ˌe-ki-ˈmō-səs How to pronounce ecchymosis (audio)
plural ecchymoses ˌe-ki-ˈmō-ˌsēz How to pronounce ecchymosis (audio)
: the escape of blood into the tissues from ruptured blood vessels
ecchymotic adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web These look quite different from ecchymoses, which have a blotchy appearance. Consumer Reports, Washington Post, 19 Aug. 2017

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, borrowed from Greek ekchȳ́mōsis, from ekchȳmō-, stem of ekchȳmoûsthai "to extravasate blood" (from ek- ec- + -chȳmousthai, verbal derivative of chȳmós "juice of plants, animal or plant fluid, humor") + -sis -sis — more at chyme

First Known Use

1541, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ecchymosis was in 1541

Dictionary Entries Near ecchymosis

Cite this Entry

“Ecchymosis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition



ec·​chy·​mo·​sis ˌek-ə-ˈmō-səs How to pronounce ecchymosis (audio)
plural ecchymoses -ˌsēz How to pronounce ecchymosis (audio)
: the escape of blood into the tissues from ruptured blood vessels marked by a livid black-and-blue or purple spot or area
also : the discoloration so caused
ecchymotic adjective
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