1

fester

verb fes·ter \ ˈfe-stər \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

Definition of fester

festered; festering play \ˈfe-st(ə-)riŋ\
1 : to generate pus
  • The wound became inflamed and festered.
2 : putrefy, rot
  • festering carrion
3 a : to cause increasing poisoning, irritation, or bitterness : rankle
  • dissent festered unchecked
  • His resentment festered for years.
b : to undergo or exist in a state of progressive deterioration
  • allowed slums to fester
: to make inflamed or corrupt

fester was our Word of the Day on 07/27/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of fester in a Sentence

  1. His wounds festered for days before he got medical attention.

  2. His feelings of resentment have festered for years.

  3. We should deal with these problems now instead of allowing them to fester.

Recent Examples of fester from the Web

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

First Known Use of fester

14th century

in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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2

fester

noun

Definition of fester

: a suppurating sore : pustule

Examples of fester in a Sentence

  1. pus oozed out of the fester

Did You Know?

Fester first entered English as a noun in the early 14th century. It was originally used as we now use the word fistula, for an abnormal passage leading from an abscess or hollow organ and permitting passage of fluids or secretions. It later came to refer to a sore that discharges pus. The connection between "fester" and "fistula" is no accident - both descend from Latin fistula, which has the same meaning as the English word but can also mean "pipe" or "tube" or "a kind of ulcer." "Fester" made the trip from Latin to English by way of Anglo-French. By the end of the 14th century, it was also being used as a verb meaning "to generate pus," a use that has since developed extended senses implying a worsening state.

Origin and Etymology of fester

Middle English, from Anglo-French festre, from Latin fistula pipe, fistulous ulcer

fester Synonyms

Synonyms

boil, papule, pimple, pock, pustule, whelk, zit [slang];


FESTER Defined for English Language Learners

fester

Definition of fester for English Language Learners

  • : to become painful and infected

  • : to become worse as time passes


FESTER Defined for Kids

fester

verb fes·ter \ ˈfe-stər \

Definition of fester for Students

festered; festering
: to become painfully red and sore and usually full of pus
  • The wound festered.

Medical Dictionary

1

fester

noun fes·ter \ ˈfes-tər \

medical Definition of fester

: a suppurating sore : pustule

2

fester

intransitive verb

medical Definition of fester

festered; festering play \-t(ə-)riŋ\
: to generate pus


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