nod·​ule | \ ˈnä-(ˌ)jül \

Definition of nodule 

: a small mass of rounded or irregular shape: such as
a : a small rounded lump of a mineral or mineral aggregate
b : a swelling on a leguminous root that contains symbiotic bacteria
c : a small abnormal knobby bodily protuberance (such as a tumorous growth or a calcification near an arthritic joint)

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Synonyms for nodule


bump, knot, lump, node, swelling

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Examples of nodule in a Sentence

The examination revealed a nodule on his lung. a nodule on the leaf indicated that a worm had laid eggs there

Recent Examples on the Web

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a successful surgery today to have two cancerous nodules removed from her left lung, CNN has reported. Vogue, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Successful Surgery to Remove Cancerous Nodules From Her Lung," 21 Dec. 2018 The nodules were removed during Friday’s surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and found to be malignant. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Justice Ginsburg Has Cancerous Growths Removed From Lung," 21 Dec. 2018 Your body forms a cyst to stop inflammation from spreading further, causing painful nodules under your skin, says Beverly Hills Dermatologist and Owner of Ava MD and Skin Five, Ava Shamban. Kelsey Castañon, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About Acne — and How to Get Rid of It," 4 Dec. 2018 This causes painful nodules that feel almost like a pebble under your skin, says Beverly Hills Dermatologist and Owner of Ava MD and Skin Five, Ava Shamban. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know To Get Rid of Cystic Acne for Good," 7 Nov. 2017 These nodules can range from very small to very large and may grow fast. Texas A&m University, Houston Chronicle, "Pet Talk: Mammary tumors in dogs," 20 June 2018 Once a vine quits producing, cut it off at ground level, leaving the nitrogen-rich root nodules in the ground to aid the growth of a following crop, such as brassicas, carrots, beets, or beans. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Growing Peas Has Never Been Easier Than This," 31 Mar. 2017 These plants collaborate with soil bacteria to absorb nitrogen from the air and deposit it in tiny root nodules—a process called nitrogen fixation. Beth Hanson, Good Housekeeping, "Grow Healthier Crops Using These Natural Nitrogen Sources," 24 Aug. 2015 Many plants are equally dependent on microbes: peas, clover, soy, and beans have nodules on their roots that host bacteria, fixing nitrogen from the air in the plant. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "The 19th-Century Crank Who Tried to Tell Us About the Microbiome," 15 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nodule

Middle English, from Latin nodulus, diminutive of nodus

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Statistics for nodule

Last Updated

3 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for nodule

The first known use of nodule was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for nodule



English Language Learners Definition of nodule

: a small lump on a part of the body or on the root of a plant


nod·​ule | \ ˈnä-jül \

Kids Definition of nodule

: a small roundish lump or mass


nod·​ule | \ ˈnäj-(ˌ)ü(ə)l \

Medical Definition of nodule 

: a small mass of rounded or irregular shape: as
a : a small abnormal knobby bodily protuberance (as a tumorous growth or a calcification near an arthritic joint)
b : the nodulus of the cerebellum

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Comments on nodule

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