var·​ix ˈver-iks How to pronounce varix (audio)
plural varices ˈver-ə-ˌsēz How to pronounce varix (audio)
: an abnormally dilated or swollen blood or lymph vessel and especially a vein (as of the esophagus or stomach)
Sclerotherapy has become an accepted treatment for bleeding esophageal varices.The New England Journal of Medicine
variceal adjective
variceal bleeding

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Often caused by cirrhosis, esophageal varices develop when the liver can’t handle as much blood as normal because of scarring. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, 4 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'varix.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, borrowed from Latin varic-, varix, probably derivative from the stem of varus "inflamed spot on the skin, pimple"; akin to Lithuanian vìras "tapeworm larva, pimple," Old High German werra "varicose vein," Old English wearr "callosity"

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of varix was in the 14th century

Cite this Entry

“Varix.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


var·​ix ˈvar-iks How to pronounce varix (audio)
plural varices ˈvar-ə-ˌsēz How to pronounce varix (audio)
: an abnormally dilated and lengthened vein, artery, or lymph vessel
especially : varicose vein

More from Merriam-Webster on varix

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