var·​i·​co·​cele ˈver-ə-kō-ˌsēl How to pronounce varicocele (audio)
: a varicose enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The cause could also be a varicocele, an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum, which can sometimes be corrected with a relatively simple surgery called a varicocelectomy. Chloe Melas, CNN, 13 July 2021 Meanwhile, Laz, 32, has high levels of anti-sperm antibodies and bilateral varicocele. Rebecca Speare-cole,, 20 May 2021 Most of the time, varicoceles (which are common) don’t lead to fertility issues, but they’re estimated to occur in 35 percent of men tested for infertility. Hallie Levine, New York Times, 18 Apr. 2020 Some causes of infertility in men include: Varicocele A varicocele is swelling of one or several of the veins that drain the testicle. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, 1 Oct. 2018

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin varicocēlē, from Latin varic-, varix "varicose vein, varix" + New Latin -o- -o- + -cēlē -cele

First Known Use

1736, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of varicocele was in 1736

Dictionary Entries Near varicocele

Cite this Entry

“Varicocele.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Medical Definition



var·​i·​co·​cele ˈvar-i-kō-ˌsēl How to pronounce varicocele (audio)
: a varicose enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord producing a soft compressible tumor mass in the scrotum

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