mac·​ule ˈma-(ˌ)kyül How to pronounce macule (audio)
: a patch of skin that is altered in color but usually not elevated
… erythema migrans is defined as a skin lesion that typically begins as a red macule or papule and expands over a period of days to weeks to form a large round lesion, often with partial central clearing.Carrie D. Tibbles et al.

Examples of macule in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Vitiligo Symptoms The only symptom of vitiligo is the appearance of patches of depigmented skin, called macules. Emily Kirkpatrick, Peoplemag, 25 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'macule.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French, "spot, stain, birthmark," going back to Middle French, borrowed from Latin macula "stain, spot, blemish" — more at macula

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of macule was in 1864

Dictionary Entries Near macule

Cite this Entry

“Macule.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


mac·​ule ˈmak-(ˌ)yü(ə)l How to pronounce macule (audio)
: a patch of skin that is altered in color but usually not elevated
Target-like macules with a dusky center are usually pathognomonic for the disorder but may not always be present.Barry Ladizinski and Kachiu C. Lee, The Journal of the American Medical Association
The lesions begin as 1 to 3 mm macules that gradually become confluent, assuming a reticulated lacelike pattern.Pearl E. Grimes, Scientific American Medicine Bulletin

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