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[lee-zhuh n] /ˈli ʒən/
an injury; hurt; wound.
Pathology. any localized, abnormal structural change in the body.
Plant Pathology. any localized, defined area of diseased tissue, as a spot, canker, blister, or scab.
verb (used with object)
to cause a lesion or lesions in.
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French < Latin laesiōn- (stem of laesiō) injury, equivalent to Latin laes(us) (past participle of laedere to harm, equivalent to laed- verb stem + -tus past participle suffix, with -dt- > -s-) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lesions
  • One possibility is that the tau protein causes the lesions in the brain.
  • Once the paleontologists recognized the jaw lesions, they found them in numerous tyrannosaur specimens.
  • Now it was a derelict, old and crippled, its bulkheads stained with patches of rust that could have been lesions.
  • Previous studies have confirmed the ability of trained dogs to detect skin-cancer melanomas by sniffing skin lesions.
  • Likewise lesions or sores on the skin signal the presence of infectious disease or parasites.
  • Within forty-eight hours, the lesions would spread across the body.
  • Some migraine sufferers may be at an increased risk for brain lesions, according to the results of a new study.
  • The researchers then mapped the precise areas of the patients' brains where they had lesions as a result of surgery.
  • In others, handling of an animal with skin lesions was enough to transmit the virus.
  • The amateur climber's brain had also suffered subcortical lesions in the frontal lobes.
British Dictionary definitions for lesions


any structural change in a bodily part resulting from injury or disease
an injury or wound
Word Origin
C15: via Old French from Late Latin laesiō injury, from Latin laedere to hurt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lesions



early 15c., from Middle French lesion, from Latin laesionem (nominative laesio) "injury," from past participle stem of laedere "to strike, hurt, damage," of unknown origin. Originally with reference to any sort of hurt, whether physical or not.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lesions in Medicine

lesion le·sion (lē'zhən)

  1. A wound or an injury.

  2. A localized pathological change in a bodily organ or tissue.

  3. An infected or diseased patch of skin.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for lesions


in physiology, a structural or biochemical change in an organ or tissue produced by disease processes or a wound. The alteration may be associated with particular symptoms of a disease, as when a gastric ulcer produces stomach pain, or it may take place without producing symptoms, as in the early stages of cancer. Certain lesions, such as the genital chancre of syphilis, are diagnostic of a particular disease, and early recognition of the physical or biochemical injury can help to prevent later, more serious manifestations of a disease; thus, the recognition and classification of disease lesions is a major part of pathology.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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