suppurate

To suppurate is to get infected and form pus. If that scrape on your knee starts to suppurate, you might want to go to the doctor.

In medicine, suppurate is the official term for what you might think of as "become gross and full of pus." Pimples sometimes become swollen and painful before they suppurate, and cuts and scrapes that get infected can also suppurate, oozing a thick, white substance. We can trace this word back to a root that means both "matter from a sore" and "bitterness or malice."

Definitions of suppurate
1

v cause to ripen and discharge pus

“The oil suppurates the pustules”
Synonyms:
mature
fester, maturate
ripen and generate pus
Type of:
draw
cause to localize at one point

v ripen and generate pus

Synonyms:
fester, maturate
mature
cause to ripen and discharge pus
Type of:
discharge, eject, exhaust, expel, release
eliminate (a substance)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.