The word stigma has more than one possible meaning:

  • a mark such as that made with a branding iron
  • in botany, stigma (botany) can mean
    • a part of the female part of a flower; "that part of a pistil which has no epidermis, and is fitted to receive the pollen. It is usually the terminal portion, and is commonly somewhat glutinous or viscid." or
    • a spiracle or other small spot
  • social stigma is a "mark of infamy or disgrace; sign of moral blemish; stain or reproach caused by dishonorable conduct; reproachful characterization" (Webster, 1913)
  • can also be a synonym for stigmata
  • in anatomy, a stigma (anatomy) can be a small spot, mark, scar, or a minute hole; -- applied especially to a spot on the outer surface of a Graafian follicle, and to spots of intercellular substance in scaly epithelium, or to minute holes in such spots.
  • in pathology, a stigma (pathology) can be a red speck upon the skin, produced either by the extravasation of blood, as in the bloody sweat characteristic of certain varieties of religious ecstasy, or by capillary congestion, as in the case of drunkards.
  • in geometry, a stigma (geometry) is a point so connected by any law whatever with another point, called an index, that as the index moves in any manner in a plane the first point or stigma moves in a determinate way in the same plane.
  • in zoology, a stigma (zoology) can mean:
    • One of the external openings of the tracheae of insects, myriapods, and other arthropods; a spiracle.
    • One of the apertures of the pulmonary sacs of arachnids.
    • One of the apertures of the gill of an ascidian, and of Amphioxus.

This page contains text taken from the public domain 1913 Webster's Dictionary, which can be found online at