ne·​cro·​sis | \ nə-ˈkrō-səs How to pronounce necrosis (audio) , ne- \
plural necroses\ nə-​ˈkrō-​ˌsēz How to pronounce necrosis (audio) , ne-​ \

Definition of necrosis

: usually localized death of living tissue

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Cells die naturally after a period of time, but may also die as a result of injuries, infections, or cancer. Burns produce necrosis, and the bedsores suffered by nursing-home patients are a form of necrosis. The dreaded condition known as gangrene, in which the dying tissue turns black or green, is another form. When untreated, the dying cells release substances that lead to the death of surrounding cells, so untreated necrosis can lead to death. Treatment usually requires the removal of the necrotic tissue, and in severe cases can even involve amputating a limb.

Examples of necrosis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The leaves are not turning yellow and there are no signs of necrosis. oregonlive, 18 July 2021 Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, tumor-necrosis blockers, and other biologic agents that may suppress immune response. Chronic medical conditions such as asplenia and chronic renal disease. Mike Cason |, al, 17 Aug. 2021 The reason this is so dangerous is someone could potentially inject filler into the blood vessels which can cause skin necrosis (death of body tissue) and even blindness. Angela Lei, Forbes, 22 June 2021 The routine addition of epsom salts can lead to salt accumulation in the soil, which can lead to leaf tip dieback, marginal leaf chlorosis and necrosis (or burn). Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 May 2021 Recluse spider bites can cause a range of reactions from minor irritation to necrosis, which is tissue death, said Danielson-Francois, who chairs the biology discipline at the university in Dearborn. Darcie Moran, USA TODAY, 25 Feb. 2021 Remote work can, it is claimed, rebalance the lopsided emphasis on the coasts, and reverse some of the necrosis in America’s heartland. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, 4 Jan. 2021 The stings can cause necrosis and lead to organ failure. Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, 23 Dec. 2020 After researchers discovered a genetic marker for resistance to infectious pancreatic necrosis, companies quickly bred strains that can survive this deadly disease. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, 19 Nov. 2020

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

1583, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for necrosis

Late Latin, from Greek nekrōsis, from nekroun to make dead, from nekros dead body

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Time Traveler for necrosis

Time Traveler

The first known use of necrosis was in 1583

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Necrosis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for necrosis


ne·​cro·​sis | \ nə-ˈkrō-səs, ne- How to pronounce necrosis (audio) \
plural necroses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce necrosis (audio) \

Medical Definition of necrosis

: death of living tissue specifically : death of a portion of tissue differentially affected by local injury (as loss of blood supply, corrosion, burning, or the local lesion of a disease) — compare necrobiosis

More from Merriam-Webster on necrosis

Nglish: Translation of necrosis for Spanish Speakers

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


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