ne·cro·sis | \nə-ˈkrō-səs, ne-\
plural necroses\nə-ˈkrō-ˌsēz, ne- \

Definition of necrosis 

: usually localized death of living tissue

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from necrosis

necrotic \nə-ˈkrä-tik, ne- \ adjective

Did You Know?

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

Andrey Suchilin, a Russian guitarist, had developed tissue necrosis during a vacation in Spain. Julie Mazziotta,, "What to Know About Necrosis, the Deadly Disease That Made a Man Smell So Bad His Plane Had an Emergency Landing," 28 June 2018 Suchilin’s condition worsened with the tissue necrosis spreading to his kidneys, heart and lungs. Alexia Fernandez, ajc, "A man smelled so bad a plane was diverted. Now, he’s dead from necrosis," 28 June 2018 Unbearable’ smelling passenger that caused plane’s emergency landing dies from tissue necrosis. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: The battle over the Supreme Court begins; Trump-Putin summit details to be revealed," 28 June 2018 The same medication that stopped Breen from dying led to necrosis (tissue death) of his extremities. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "Strep Throat Leads to Quadruple Amputation for Dad of 3," 15 Mar. 2017 With young children, there can be localized soft tissue effects such as necrosis, pain and swelling, Batchelor said. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Mom warns of copperhead snakes after toddler is seriously injured by venomous serpent," 7 June 2018 Beth Allums is one of the approximately 5 percent of tummy-tuck patients who develop a necrosis. Hallie Levine, Redbook, "Would You Get A "Mommy Tuck" ?," 14 Mar. 2011 Her medical files are an encyclopedia of disorders and side effects: pancreatitis, acute and subacute necrosis of the liver, osteoporosis. Elizabeth Koh And Carol Marbin Miller, miamiherald, "She's starving to death — and public health agencies can't or won't stop it | Miami Herald," 24 May 2018 Now Mr Abu Shuayb, 30, is in a hospital bed watching his leg swell and blacken from necrosis, the result of being shot. The Economist, "Protests on Gaza’s border with Israel turn deadly," 14 May 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about necrosis

Statistics for necrosis

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for necrosis

The first known use of necrosis was in 1583

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for necrosis


ne·cro·sis | \nə-ˈkrō-səs, ne- \
plural necroses\-ˌsēz \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on necrosis

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


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!