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v. fes·tered, fes·ter·ing, fes·ters
v. intr.
1. To generate pus; suppurate.
2. To form an ulcer.
3. To undergo decay; rot.
a. To be or become an increasing source of irritation or poisoning; rankle: bitterness that festered and grew.
b. To be subject to or exist in a condition of decline: allowed the once beautiful park to fester.
v. tr.
To infect, inflame, or corrupt.
A small festering sore or ulcer; a pustule.

[Middle English festren, from festre, fistula, from Old French, from Latin fistula; see fistula.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.festering - (medicine) the formation of morbific matter in an abscess or a vesicle and the discharge of pus
medical specialty, medicine - the branches of medical science that deal with nonsurgical techniques
bodily function, bodily process, body process, activity - an organic process that takes place in the body; "respiratory activity"
2.festering - a fluid product of inflammation
bodily fluid, body fluid, liquid body substance, humour, humor - the liquid parts of the body
gleet - a thin morbid discharge as from a wound or especially chronic gonorrhea
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. venomous, vicious, smouldering, virulent, black-hearted recrimination and festering resentment
3. rotting, decaying, decomposing, putrefying The cobbles were littered with festering garbage
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
References in classic literature ?
When they reached Yaroslavl the wound had begun to fester (Natasha knew all about such things as festering) and the doctor had said that the festering might take a normal course.
Some few of them he would have found, a few hundred thousand, perhaps, their carcasses festering in the houses and in the deserted streets, and piled high on the abandoned death-waggons.
Pent in their vast and festering charnel-house, all organization and cohesion lost, they could do naught but die.
I have fre- quently felt her head, and found it nearly covered with festering sores, caused by the lash of her cruel mistress.
They were the drainage of the great festering ulcer of society; they were hideous to look upon, sickening to talk to.
Here you shall lie alone and in darkness with the carcass of your accomplice festering in its rottenness by your side, until crazed by loneliness and hunger you feed upon the crawling maggots that were once a man."
He never knew, each time he entered the festering shambles, whether or not he would be able to complete the round.
Such a recoil is like that of a hair, made to grow out from the body, turning unnaturally upon the direction of its growth and growing into the body--a rankling, festering thing of hurt.
O Polybus, O Corinth, O my home, Home of my ancestors (so wast thou called) How fair a nursling then I seemed, how foul The canker that lay festering in the bud!
The paperwork details the apparent transfer of shares and the lease for the Shotts plant before the companies collapsed owing millions of pounds - and it lays bare the shocking extent of the 1500-ton mountain of waste festering at their eight sites.
US and Chinese negotiators are set to kick off two days of official trade talks in Beijing as the worldA's top two economies try to patch up their festering economic dispute.
THERE was pandemonium in Edunabon community of Ife North West Local Council Development area of Osun State when some irate youths allegedly razed the palace of Salu of Edunabon over festering chieftaincy tussle.