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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Varicocele \Var"i*co*cele\, n. [Varix a dilated vein + Gr. ? tumor: cf. F. varicoc[`e]le.] (Med.) A varicose enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord; also, a like enlargement of the veins of the scrotum.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"tumor in the scrotum," 1736, medical Latin, from Latin varic-, comb. form of varix "dilated vein" (see varices) + Latinized form of Greek kele "tumor."


n. (context medicine andrology English) varicose veins in the area of the scrotum.


n. dilatation of the veins associated with the spermatic cord in the testes


A varicocele is an abnormal enlargement of the pampiniform venous plexus in the scrotum. This plexus of veins drains the testicles. The testicular blood vessels originate in the abdomen and course down through the inguinal canal as part of the spermatic cord on their way to the testis. Upward flow of blood in the veins is ensured by small one-way valves that prevent backflow. Defective valves, or compression of the vein by a nearby structure, can cause dilatation of the testicular veins near the testis, leading to the formation of a varicocele. Varicocele is known as one of the main causes for male infertility and can be treated by a surgery or non-surgical treatments.

Usage examples of "varicocele".

On examination, we found a very varicose or enlarged condition of the left spermatic veins, and gave it as our opinion that the seminal loss was wholly due to this abnormal condition and could only be cured by an operation that would remove the varicocele.

Various worse than useless devices are advertised by quacks, who, as a class, are afraid to undertake surgical treatment for the cure of varicocele.

I saw the Common Sense Medical Adviser advertised and sent for the book and studied its contents carefully, and came to the conclusion that I was suffering from varicocele.

His feet are stolidly on the floor, his knees spread way out wide, the way Schtitt always has to sit, on account of his varicoceles.

When varicocele of an aggravated or largely developed type is present, associated with any weakness of the generative organs, as spermatorrhea or impotency, it must be cured before the organs can regain a healthy condition, as by the constant pressure of the abnormal quantity of blood and enlarged veins upon the spermatic cord, arteries, and testicles, the irritability, weakness, and wasting, are increased.

Now it has been five years since I was operated upon and I feel well of that disease--varicocele attended with impotency or weakness of the generative organs, caused by varicocele.

He has a way of focusing his whole self's concentration very narrowly, adjusting his legs' spread for the varicoceles and curling one arm over the other and sort of drawing himself in around the pipe he attends to.