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

One of them, Dr. Barry J. Marshall, said in an email that the library’s database pointed him to old studies that would help prove their prizewinning theory — that a bacterium, not stress, caused most stomach ulcers. New York Times, "Dr. Donald Lindberg, 85, Dies; Opened Medical Research to the World," 2 Sep. 2019 The baby’s pediatrician diagnosed him with an ulcer on his soft pallet and hand, foot and mouth disease, according to the complaint. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "Murder charges: Baby was being ‘difficult,’ so Woodbury dad dropped him on his head," 9 Aug. 2019 Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the colon’s lining and rectum at the end of the colon. Julie Washington, cleveland.com, "Newer guidelines call for colonoscopies 5 years earlier, many insurances cover costs," 28 July 2019 The lack of effective antibiotics means that amputating a limb is sometimes the only way to treat an infected skin ulcer in a diabetic patient. The Economist, "Attack of the superbugs: July 2041," 5 July 2019 In one case, the hospice didn’t treat ulcers on a patient’s heels, and an amputation was required after gangrene set in. Steve Lopezcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: After my mother’s disastrous hospice experience, we filed a state complaint. It came to nothing," 10 Aug. 2019 After a turbulent life of ulcers, alcoholism and depression, Porter died in 1964 and his body was sent back to Indiana for burial at Mount Hope Cemetery. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "Dillinger, Dean and more: 12 famous graves in Indiana," 7 Aug. 2019 Ian still struggled with mucositis, a painful side effect of the chemo involving ulcers in the mouth. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "Teenage golfer fends off cancer, competes against tour pros in Hayward," 30 July 2019 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

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

17 Sep 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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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