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stig·ma  audio  (stgm) KEY 

pl. stig·ma·ta  (stg-mät, -mt, stgm-) KEY  or stig·mas
  1. A mark or token of infamy, disgrace, or reproach: "Party affiliation has never been more casual . . . The stigmata of decay are everywhere" (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.). See Synonyms at stain.
  2. A small mark; a scar or birthmark.
  3. Medicine A mark or characteristic indicative of a history of a disease or abnormality.
  4. Psychology A mark or spot on the skin that bleeds as a symptom of hysteria.
  5. stigmata Bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain corresponding in location to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, usually occurring during states of religious ecstasy or hysteria.
  6. Biology A small mark, spot, or pore, such as the respiratory spiracle of an insect or an eyespot in certain algae.
  7. Botany The receptive apex of the pistil of a flower, on which pollen is deposited at pollination.
  8. Archaic A mark burned into the skin of a criminal or slave; a brand.

Middle English stigme, brand, from Latin stigma, stigmat-, tattoo indicating slave or criminal status, from Greek, tattoo mark, from stizein, stig-, to prick; see steig- in Indo-European roots


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