What does carbuncle mean?

Definitions for carbuncle
ˈkɑr bʌŋ kəlcar·bun·cle

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word carbuncle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. carbunclenoun

    deep-red cabochon garnet cut without facets

  2. carbunclenoun

    an infection larger than a boil and with several openings for discharge of pus


  1. carbunclenoun

    A deep-red or fiery colored garnet or other dark red precious stone, especially when cut cabochon.

  2. carbunclenoun

    An abscess larger than a boil, usually with one or more openings draining pus onto the skin. It is usually caused by bacterial infection.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CARBUNCLEnoun

    Etymology: carbunculus, Lat. a little coal.

    A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
    Were not so rich a jewel. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    His head
    Crested aloft, and carbuncle his eyes,
    With burnish’d neck of verdant gold. Par. Lost, b. ix.

    It is commonly related, and believed, that a carbuncle does shine in the dark like a burning coal; from whence it hath its name. John Wilkins, Mathematical Magick.

    Carbuncle is a stone of the ruby kind, of a rich blood-red colour. John Woodward.

    It was a pestilent fever, but there followed no carbuncle, no purple or livid spots, or the like, the mass of the blood not being tainted. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    Red blisters, rising on their paps, appear,
    And flaming carbuncles, and noisome sweat. Dryden.


  1. Carbuncle

    A carbuncle is a cluster of boils caused by bacterial infection, most commonly with Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes. The presence of a carbuncle is a sign that the immune system is active and fighting the infection. The infection is contagious and may spread to other areas of the body, or other people; those living in the same residence may develop carbuncles at the same time. In the early 21st century, infection involving methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become more common.


  1. carbuncle

    A carbuncle is a skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, which occurs deep in the skin and may contain pus. Typically, it is larger than a boil and often associated with fever and fatigue. It is usually caused by staphylococcus aureus bacteria. In literature or mythology, a carbuncle can also refer to a red gemstone, particularly a garnet.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Carbunclenoun

    a beautiful gem of a deep red color (with a mixture of scarlet) called by the Greeks anthrax; found in the East Indies. When held up to the sun, it loses its deep tinge, and becomes of the color of burning coal. The name belongs for the most part to ruby sapphire, though it has been also given to red spinel and garnet

  2. Carbunclenoun

    a very painful acute local inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue, esp. of the trunk or back of the neck, characterized by brawny hardness of the affected parts, sloughing of the skin and deeper tissues, and marked constitutional depression. It differs from a boil in size, tendency to spread, and the absence of a central core, and is frequently fatal. It is also called anthrax

  3. Carbunclenoun

    a charge or bearing supposed to represent the precious stone. It has eight scepters or staves radiating from a common center. Called also escarbuncle

  4. Etymology: [L. carbunculus a little coal, a bright kind of precious stone, a kind of tumor, dim. of carbo coal: cf. F. carboncle. See Carbon.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Carbuncle

    kär′bung-kl, n. a fiery-red precious stone: an inflamed ulcer: a pimple on the nose.—adjs. Car′buncled, set with the gem carbuncle; afflicted with carbuncles: having red inflamed spots; Carbun′cular, belonging to or like a carbuncle: red: inflamed. [L. carbunculus, dim. of carbo, a coal.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Carbuncle

    An infection of cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue that consists of a cluster of boils. Commonly, the causative agent is STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS. Carbuncles produce fever, leukocytosis, extreme pain, and prostration.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of carbuncle in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of carbuncle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

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"carbuncle." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 22 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/carbuncle>.

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