Medical Definition of Peccant

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Peccant: Unhealthy. Causing illness or disease.

"...the subtile parts of the tobacco in inspiration are carried into the trachea and lungs, where they loosen the peccant humours adhering thereto, and promote expectoration." (From the entry to tobacco in the First Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, 1771)

The word peccant comes from the Latin peccans, from peccare (to sin, to commit a fault, to stumble). Peccant involves stumbling of a sort -- falling into unhealthy behavior.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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