Entries linking to suppuration
In Latin assimilated to following -c-, -f-, -g-, -p-, and often -r- and -m-. In Old French the prefix appears in the full Latin form only "in learned adoptions of old Latin compounds" [OED], and in popular use it was represented by sous-, sou-; as in French souvenir from Latin subvenire, souscrire (Old French souzescrire) from subscribere, etc.
The original meaning is now obscured in many words from Latin (suggest, suspect, subject, etc.). The prefix is active in Modern English, sometimes meaning "subordinate" (as in subcontractor); "inferior" (17c., as in subhuman); "smaller" (18c.); "a part or division of" (c. 1800, as in subcontinent).
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]
updated on December 30, 2013