tubercle

noun
tu·ber·cle | \ ˈtü-bər-kəl , ˈtyü- \

Definition of tubercle 

1 : a small knobby prominence or excrescence especially on a plant or animal : nodule: such as

a : a protuberance near the head of a rib that articulates with the transverse process of a vertebra

b : any of several prominences in the central nervous system

c : nodule sense b

2 : a small abnormal discrete lump in the substance of an organ or in the skin especially : the specific lesion of tuberculosis

Examples of tubercle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

According to Carly Cassella of Science Alert, the critter boasts a number of features that are not seen in any other modern turtle, like the two rows of tubercles that act like feelers. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Turtle That Breathes Through Its Genitals Lands on Endangered Reptiles List," 13 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tubercle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tubercle

1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tubercle

Latin tuberculum, diminutive of tuber

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tubercle

Statistics for tubercle

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tubercle

The first known use of tubercle was in 1556

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tubercle

tubercle

noun
tu·ber·cle | \ ˈt(y)ü-bər-kəl \

Medical Definition of tubercle 

1 : a small knobby prominence or excrescence: as

a : a prominence on the crown of a molar tooth

b : a small rough prominence (as the greater tubercle or adductor tubercle) on a bone usually being smaller than a tuberosity and serving for the attachment of one or more muscles or ligaments

c : an eminence near the head of a rib that articulates with the transverse process of a vertebra

d : any of several prominences (as the acoustic tubercle) in the central nervous system that mark the nuclei of various nerves

2 : a small discrete lump in the substance of an organ or in the skin especially : the specific lesion of tuberculosis consisting of a packed mass of epithelioid cells, giant cells, disintegration products of white blood cells and bacilli, and usually a necrotic center

More from Merriam-Webster on tubercle

Britannica English: Translation of tubercle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tubercle

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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