Find the word definition

The Collaborative International Dictionary


Varices \Var"i*ces\, n. pl. See Varix.


Varix \Va"rix\, n.; pl. Varices. [L.]

  1. (Med.) A uneven, permanent dilatation of a vein.

    Note: Varices are owing to local retardation of the venous circulation, and in some cases to relaxation of the parietes of the veins. They are very common in the superficial veins of the lower limbs.

  2. (Zo["o]l.) One of the prominent ridges or ribs extending across each of the whorls of certain univalve shells.

    Note: The varices usually indicate stages of growth, each one showing a former position of the outer lip of the aperture.



A varix (pl. varices) is an abnormally dilated vessel with a tortuous course. Varices usually occur in the venous system, but may also occur in arterial or lymphatic vessels.

Examples of varices include:

  • Varicose veins, large tortuous veins usually found on legs
  • Sublingual varices
  • Esophageal varices, commonly stemming from cirrhosis of the liver, also known as Oesophageal varicose
  • Gastric varices, commonly stemming from cirrhosis of the liver
  • Intestinal varices
  • Scrotal varices
  • Vulvar varices
  • Pelvic varices
  • Vesical varices, varicose veins associated with the urinary bladder
  • Rectal varices, which can be similar to external haemorrhoids


  1. n. abnormally enlarged or twisted blood vessel or lymphatic vessel

  2. [also: varices (pl)]


See varix

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary


plural of varix "dilated vein" (c.1400), from PIE root *wer- (1) "high raised spot or other bodily infirmity" (see vary (v.)).

Usage examples of "varices".

Years of alcohol abuse had caused him to develop esophageal varices, varicose veins in his throat, which had then ruptured.