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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