Etymology
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abscess (n.)
Origin and meaning of abscess

in pathology, "collection of pus in some part of the body," 1610s, from Latin abscessus "an abscess" (the Latin word was used in a medical sense by Celsus), literally "a going away, departure," from the stem of abscedere "withdraw, depart, retire," from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + cedere "to go, withdraw" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield"). The notion is that humors "go from" the body through the pus in the swelling.

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abscessed (adj.)

1846, in pathology, adjective from abscess (n.). If there is a verb abscess it would be a back-formation from this.

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*ked- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to go, yield."

It forms all or part of: abscess; accede; access; ancestor; antecede; antecedent; cease; cede; cession; concede; decease; exceed; excess; incessant; intercede; necessary; precede; predecessor; proceed; recede; recess; recession; secede; secession; succeed; success.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit sedhati "to drive, chase away;" Avestan apa-had- "turn aside, step aside;" Latin cedere "to yield, give place; to give up some right or property," originally "to go from, proceed, leave;" Old Church Slavonic chodu "a walking, going," choditi "to go."

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whitlow (n.)

"inflammation on a finger or toe," mid-15c., alteration of whitflaw (c. 1400), from flaw, with first element possibly from Dutch vijt or Low German fit "abscess."

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rankle (v.)

c. 1300, ranclen, of a sore, wound, etc., "to fester," from Old French rancler, earlier raoncler, draoncler "to suppurate, run," from draoncle "abscess, festering sore," from Medieval Latin dracunculus, literally "little dragon," diminutive of Latin draco "serpent, dragon" (see dragon). According to OED (citing Skeat and also Godefroy's "Dictionnaire De L'ancienne Langue Française"), the notion is of an ulcer caused by a snake's bite. Transitive meaning "cause to fester" is from c. 1400. Figurative use, of feelings, etc., is from 16c. Related: Rankled; rankling.

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pus (n.)

yellowish-white inflammatory exudation, consisting of white blood cells, etc., produced by suppuration, late 14c., from Latin pus "pus, matter from a sore;" figuratively "bitterness, malice" (related to puter "rotten" and putere "to stink"), from PIE *pu- (2) "to rot, decay" (source also of Sanskrit puyati "rots, stinks," putih "stinking, foul, rotten;" Greek puon "discharge from a sore," pythein "to cause to rot;" Lithuanian pūvu, pūti "to rot;" Gothic fuls, Old English ful "foul"), perhaps originally echoic of a natural exclamation of disgust.

The formation of pus is called suppuration. A collection of pus within the solid tissues is called an abscess. A suppurating open sore is an ulcer. [Century Dictionary]
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canker (n.)

late Old English cancer "spreading ulcer, cancerous tumor," from Latin cancer "malignant tumor," literally "crab" (see cancer, which is its doublet). The form was influenced in Middle English by Old North French cancre "canker, sore, abscess" (Old French chancre, Modern French chancre).

The word was the common one for "cancer" until c. 1700, but since the reintroduction of cancer in a more scientific sense it has tended to be restricted to gangrenous sores of the mouth. Also used since 15c. of caterpillars and insect larvae that eat plant buds and leaves. As a verb, "to corrode, corrupt," from late 14c. Related: Cankered; cankerous.

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attercop (n.)

"spider," Middle English atter-coppe, from Old English atorcoppe "spider," literally "poison-head," from ator "poison, venom" (Middle English atter), from Proto-Germanic *aitra- "poisonous ulcer" (source also of Old Norse eitr, Old High German eitar "poison;" German eiter "pus," Old High German eiz "abscess, boil;" Old English atorcræft "art of poisoning") + copp "top, summit, round head," probably also "spider" (compare cobweb and Dutch spinne-cop "spider").

Amptes & attircoppes & suche oþer þat ben euere bisy ben maide to schewe man ensaumple of stodye & labour. [Elucidarium of Honorius of Autun (Wycliffite version) c. 1400]

Archaic and provincial; used 20c. by Tolkien. It also lingered in Northern England dialect in the sense "peevish, ill-natured person" (c. 1500).

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