ul·​cer | \ ˈəl-sər How to pronounce ulcer (audio) \

Definition of ulcer

1 : a break in skin or mucous membrane with loss of surface tissue, disintegration and necrosis of epithelial tissue, and often pus
2 : something that festers and corrupts like an open sore

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Other Words from ulcer

ulcer verb

Examples of ulcer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

An autopsy found Wippel bled out from a stomach ulcer. oregonlive.com, "Two Jefferson County jail deputies acquitted in inmate’s death file suit, alleging malicious prosecution," 26 July 2019 Later symptoms include ulcers, blisters or black spots on the skin, pus or oozing from the infected area, dizziness and fatigue. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "Alabama man infected with flesh-eating bacteria in Tennessee River, family says," 16 July 2019 There were ulcers, heart attacks, heavy drinking, chain smoking, abandoned families, divorces and the ever-looming threat that the Soviet Union would steal the prize. Samantha Masunaga, latimes.com, "Could the Apollo 11 moon landing be duplicated today? ‘Lots of luck with that’," 14 July 2019 In more serious cases, Julia Hatmaker writes for Penn Live, bacteria enter the bloodstream, making ulcers, black spots and pus emerge around the infected area. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Warming Waters May Be Driving Flesh-Eating Bacteria to East Coast Beaches," 21 June 2019 Eighty-eight ran, giving track officials 88 individual ulcers — and 88 reasons to exhale. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Del Mar’s opening day brings heated debate, safe racing," 18 July 2019 Drugs on the market now either don't reach the brain, or come with other risks associated with long-term use, like increased risk for heart attack, stroke and stomach ulcers. NBC News, "Is targeting brain inflammation the key to beating Alzheimer's disease?," 12 July 2019 In addition, the sulfur compounds in Brussels sprouts are known to reduce ulcer risk by limiting Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) overgrowth and preventing bacteria from clinging to the stomach wall. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "7 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts," 9 July 2019 Massachusetts patients suffered 14,369 pressure ulcers — typically bedsores — and 4,625 post-operation infections that year. Liz Kowalczyk, BostonGlobe.com, "Medical errors prevalent and costly, new survey of Massachusetts residents shows," 10 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ulcer

Middle English, from Latin ulcer-, ulcus; akin to Greek helkos wound

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Dictionary Entries near ulcer







ulcerative colitis

Statistics for ulcer

Last Updated

6 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for ulcer

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

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More Definitions for ulcer



English Language Learners Definition of ulcer

medical : a painful, sore area inside or outside the body


ul·​cer | \ ˈəl-sər How to pronounce ulcer (audio) \

Kids Definition of ulcer

: a slow-healing open painful sore (as of the lining of the stomach) in which tissue breaks down


ul·​cer | \ ˈəl-sər How to pronounce ulcer (audio) \

Medical Definition of ulcer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a break in skin or mucous membrane with loss of surface tissue, disintegration and necrosis of epithelial tissue, and often pus a stomach ulcer


ulcered; ulcering\ ˈəls-​(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce ulcering (audio) \

Medical Definition of ulcer (Entry 2 of 2)

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More from Merriam-Webster on ulcer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ulcer

Spanish Central: Translation of ulcer

Nglish: Translation of ulcer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ulcer for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ulcer

Comments on ulcer

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


to shake or wave menacingly

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