pus·​tule | \ ˈpəs-(ˌ)chül How to pronounce pustule (audio) , -(ˌ)tyül, -(ˌ)tül \

Definition of pustule

1 : a small circumscribed elevation of the skin containing pus and having an inflamed base
2 : a small often distinctively colored elevation or spot resembling a blister or pimple

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Examples of pustule in a Sentence

smallpox's characteristic pustules typically resulted in permanent scarring for survivors of the dreaded disease
Recent Examples on the Web People who evacuated during the storm often had what looked like full body rashes, in which each large pustule was a single ant bite. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "How powerful hurricanes hasten the disappearance of Louisiana’s wetlands," 11 Sep. 2020 The following day, the welt will go down, but a pustule will likely take its place, per the AOCD. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, "Everything You Need to Know About Ant Bites, According to Experts," 10 Aug. 2020 With his left hand, Napoleon touches a pustule near an infected soldier’s armpit in a Christ-like gesture, as if to heal him. Robert Klitzman, STAT, "Pandemic politics: What leaders should — and shouldn’t — learn from Napoleon," 25 June 2020 Jenner harvested bits of a cowpox pustule from a milkmaid named Sarah Nelmes and scratched it into the arm of an 8-year-old boy named James Phipps, on May 14, 1796. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "A Vaccine Against COVID-19 Would Be the Latest Success in a Long Scientific History," 15 May 2020 This involved taking matter from a smallpox patient’s pustule—a snake pit of live virus—and applying it to the pricked skin of an uninfected person, then covering the spot with a linen rag. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, "How Does the Coronavirus Behave Inside a Patient?," 26 Mar. 2020 These unsightly pustules didn’t appear to cause her discomfort, but her inflamed skin seemed to telegraph otherwise. New York Times, "Why Is My Baby So Hairy?," 16 Apr. 2020 These pustules, lumps, and boils that grow underneath your top skin layer can be symptoms of acne inversa — acne in reverse. Kate Watson, Allure, "Is Hidradenitis Suppurativa Causing Your Breakouts?," 1 Apr. 2020 The pus inside those pustules is actually made up of white blood cells, is not from an infection. Lambeth Hochwald, Health.com, "What to Know About Pustular Psoriasis, According to Dermatologists," 29 Aug. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pustule

Middle English, from Latin pustula; akin to Lithuanian pusti to blow, Greek physa breath

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Time Traveler for pustule

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The first known use of pustule was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Pustule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pustule. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of pustule

medical : a small bump on the skin that contains or produces pus


pus·​tule | \ ˈpəs-(ˌ)chü(ə)l How to pronounce pustule (audio) , -(ˌ)t(y)ü(ə)l How to pronounce pustule (audio) \

Medical Definition of pustule

1 : a small circumscribed elevation of the skin containing pus and having an inflamed base
2 : a small often distinctively colored elevation or spot resembling a blister or pimple

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