v. fes·tered, fes·ter·ing, fes·ters
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.
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.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.