Monday, September 28, 2015

word of the day: fungate

[There was] a mass in her pelvis the size of a child’s fist. In the operating room, it proved to be an ovarian cancer, and it had spread throughout her abdomen. Soft, fungating tumor deposits studded her uterus, her bladder, her colon, and the lining of her abdomen.

Before I get to the definition I have to say that if I saw the word “fungate” without context I would concentrate on the first syllable, which, after all, is a word with a lot of nice connotations. If told “fungate” was a verb I might guess it had something to do with fungus. Given the context we find it in, I have to grant there’s nothing pleasant that comes to mind.

definition (courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary): To grow up with a fungous form or appearance; to grow rapidly like a fungus

source: Being Mortal: medicine and what matters in the end by Atul Gawande
2014. Metropolitan Books / Henry Holt & Co., NY

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