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[gang-green, gang-green] /ˈgæŋ grin, gæŋˈgrin/ Pathology
necrosis or death of soft tissue due to obstructed circulation, usually followed by decomposition and putrefaction.
moral or spiritual corruption and decadence that pervades an individual or group:
“This church body has been afflicted with a spiritual gangrene that is poisoning our relationship with the Lord,” the preacher expostulated.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), gangrened, gangrening.
to affect or become affected with gangrene.
1535-45; < Middle French gangrene (earlier cancrene) < Latin gangraena < Greek gángraina ‘an eating sore’
Related forms
[gang-gruh-nuh s] /ˈgæŋ grə nəs/ (Show IPA),
nongangrenous, adjective
ungangrened, adjective
ungangrenous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gangrenous
  • He has survived diphtheria, a gangrenous foot, and an appendix that ruptured while he was hunting.
  • The weakest part of the market has become gangrenous.
  • Perhaps you were unfazed by the removal of fatty deposits from a patient's neck and the amputation of a gangrenous foot.
British Dictionary definitions for gangrenous


death and decay of tissue as the result of interrupted blood supply, disease, or injury
moral decay or corruption
to become or cause to become affected with gangrene
Derived Forms
gangrenous (ˈɡæŋɡrɪnəs) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin gangraena, from Greek gangraina an eating sore; related to Greek gran to gnaw
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 gangrenous

1610s, from gangrene + -ous.



1540s, from Latin gangraena, from Greek gangraina "an eating or gnawing sore," literally "that which eats away," reduplicated form of gran- "to gnaw," from PIE root *gras- (see gastric).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gangrenous in Medicine

gangrene gan·grene (gāng'grēn', gāng-grēn')
Death and decay of body tissue, often in a limb, caused by insufficient blood supply and usually following injury or disease.

gan'gre·nous (gāng'grə-nəs) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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gangrenous in Science
Death of tissue in a living body, especially in a limb, caused by a bacterial infection resulting from a blockage of the blood supply to the affected tissue.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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gangrenous in Culture
gangrene [(gang-green, gang-green)]

The death and decay of body tissue owing to insufficient supply of blood.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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