- Archaic any of certain deep-red gems
- a smooth, convex, deep-red garnet
- a painful bacterial infection (esp. Staphylococcus aureus) deep beneath the skin, having a network of pus-filled boils
Origin of carbuncleMiddle English ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin carbunculus, a little coal, gem ; from carbo: see carbon
- A painful localized bacterial infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue that usually has several openings through which pus is discharged.
- a. A red precious stone, especially a deep-red garnet cut as a cabochon.b. A mythical gemstone said to emit light even in total darkness.
Origin of carbuncleMiddle English, from Old French, from Latin carbunculus, small glowing ember, carbuncle, diminutive of carbō, carbōn-, coal; see ker-3 in Indo-European roots.
- (archaic) A deep-red or fiery colored garnet or other dark red precious stone, especially when cut cabochon.
- An abscess larger than a boil, usually with one or more openings draining pus onto the skin. It is usually caused by bacterial infection.
- (heraldry) A charge or bearing supposed to represent the precious stone, with eight sceptres or staves radiating from a common centre; an escarbuncle.
From Old Northern French carbuncle