from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A deposit of urates in the skin and tissue around a joint or in the external ear, occurring in gout. Also called chalkstone.
  • n. A concretion of mineral salts and organic matter deposited on the surface of the teeth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A deposit of monosodium urate crystals in the body, caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the mineral concretions about the joints, and in other situations, occurring chiefly in gouty persons. They consist usually of urate of sodium; when occurring in the internal organs they are also composed of phosphate of calcium.
  • n. Calcareous tufa.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Calc tufa.
  • n. A concretion of calcareous matter which forms on the cartilaginous surface of the joints, and on the pinna of the ear, in gout; a gouty deposit.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a deposit of urates around a joint or in the external ear; diagnostic of advanced or chronic gout
  • n. an incrustation that forms on the teeth and gums


Latin tōphus, tufa.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin, meaning "stone". (Wiktionary)


  • Sometimes, if gout lasts for many years, uric acid crystals can collect in the joints or tendons, under the skin, or on the outside the ears, forming a whitish deposit called a tophus.


  • Et tophus fcaber, et nigris exefa chelydris Creta, negant alios seque ferpentibus agros Dulcem ferre cibum, et curvas praebere latebras.

    P. Virgilii Maronis opera: emendabat et notulis illustr. G. Wakefield

  • 4 Diab, Lexicon of orthopaedic etymology (1999), p.353 (see link): "NB: the spelling tophus perhaps was introduced into Latin as the more learned form, as though it were of Greek origin."

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • 2 Skinner, The origin of medical terms (1961), 2nd edition, p.406 (see link): "Latin - tophus or tofus, from the Greek τόφος, a loose, porous, kind of stone (Hebrew, toph)."

    Archive 2009-10-01


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