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[uhl-ser] /ˈʌl sər/
Pathology. a sore on the skin or a mucous membrane, accompanied by the disintegration of tissue, the formation of pus, etc.
any chronically corrupting or disrupting condition, element, etc.
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin ulcer- (stem of ulcus); akin to Greek hélkos
Related forms
antiulcer, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ulcers
  • The false modesty of fools will conceal ulcers rather than have them cured.
  • But by continually standing, his legs and feet were swoln, and full of ulcers and sores.
  • For decades doctors thought that stress caused ulcers.
  • Possible symptoms include sore throat, diarrhea, and skin ulcers.
  • Failing to keep up, though, leads to complications ranging from foot ulcers to renal failure.
  • In hospitals, doctors are using commercially produced, lab-grown skin to repair diabetic foot ulcers.
  • The clowns' convention had them all standing around complaining about their ulcers and the sad state of their investments.
  • ulcers and heart disease have already been mentioned.
  • The plan is to further develop and fine-tune the material for use in other skin conditions, such as skin ulcers.
  • It might be random sores and ulcers, on the tongue or in the mouth.
British Dictionary definitions for ulcers


a disintegration of the surface of the skin or a mucous membrane resulting in an open sore that heals very slowly See also peptic ulcer
a source or element of corruption or evil
Word Origin
C14: from Latin ulcus; related to Greek helkos a sore
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 ulcers



c.1400, from Old French ulcere, from Vulgar Latin ulcerem, from Latin ulcus (genitive ulceris) "ulcer," from PIE *elk-es- "wound" (cf. Greek elkos).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ulcers in Medicine

ulcer ul·cer (ŭl'sər)
A lesion of the skin or of a mucous membrane, such as the one lining the stomach or duodenum, that is accompanied by formation of pus and necrosis of surrounding tissue, usually resulting from inflammation or ischemia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ulcers in Science
A break in the skin or a mucous membrane, such as the one lining the stomach or duodenum, accompanied by inflammation, pus, and loss of tissue.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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ulcers in Culture
ulcer [(ul-suhr)]

An inflamed open sore on the skin or mucous membrane. An ulcer may form in the inner lining of the stomach or duodenum, interfere with digestion, and cause considerable pain.

Note: It used to be thought that stress was the cause of stomach and duodenal ulcers, but we now know that they are caused by bacteria and can be cured by antibiotics.
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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