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

Synonyms for pustule


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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 A few days after the fever begins, patients develop distinctive pustule-like lesions that usually start on the face and spread across the body before scabbing over and falling away. Corinne Purtillstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2022 Each pustule contains live virus, and a ruptured blister can contaminate bed linens and other items, putting close contacts at risk. New York Times, 26 May 2022 Without further ado, here's the scoop straight from dermatologists on some of the best acne treatments for every type of zit, cyst, and pustule threatening to implode on your skin. Michelle Rostamian, Allure, 11 Mar. 2022 But something even more terrifying was revealed when Sherman removed the ribbon: a large, dangling pustule that was dancing and singing a nonsensical song. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 6 Mar. 2022 Dermatologists suggest that the patches work their best magic when the lesion is a pustule (a pimple with pus at the tip). SELF, 30 Dec. 2021 Dimsdale harvested the contents of a smallpox pustule from the young son of a sergeant-major and used it to inoculate Catherine. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 19 Dec. 2021 Its sting produces first a burning sensation—hence the name—and then a smallpox-like pustule. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 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, 11 Sep. 2020 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

1 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pustule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pustule. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for pustule


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

More from Merriam-Webster on pustule

Nglish: Translation of pustule for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pustule for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pustule


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