If I want to say that my arm is bruised i.e. having (a) bruise(s)

noun: bruise; plural noun: bruises an injury appearing as an area of discoloured skin on the body, caused by a blow or impact rupturing underlying blood vessels. "his body was a mass of bruises after he had been attacked"

All the translators merely return 'verletzt' but this seems not quite right. I mean your arm might be injured but it could be broken/burnt/throbbing and these would not convey the correct sense of pain.


6 Answers 6


Bruises are called blaue Flecken in German, and there's no adjective for that. You have to rephrase.

Du hast da einen blauen Fleck.

You have a bruise there.

Dein Arm ist voller blauer Flecken.

Your arm is full of bruises.

  • 5
    Well, technically, German allows you to just make one up: hämatombehaftet. What I've actually heard in use is "blau" though. Mein Arm ist ganz blau.
    – DonQuiKong
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 22:24
  • 1
    The more direct translation is Prellung (in medical terms, Kontusion). Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 10:30

Another proposal:


It is not specific concerning the kind of damage and may also be used for things. A nice aspect is, that the corresponding substantive Läsion is a medical term.

  • 1
    Any word for say a bruised apple etc.
    – John Lamb
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 17:23
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    @JohnLamb I think most people would use their own dialect to describe a bruised apple but I would argue that beschädigt, alt and also zerdrückt would work. In my dialect we would use Zerdetscht (meaning basically zerdrückt)
    – SirHawrk
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 17:54
  • 2
    @JohnLamb "angeschlagen" may be another option for an apple or other object, but does not really cut it for describing bruises on body parts.
    – Hulk
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 4:25

Falls es ein Adjektiv (in dem Fall: eine adjektivische Phrase) als Übersetzung für bruised sein soll, so schlage ich

grün und blau

vor. Das wird - wenigstens dort, wo ich herkomme - als Ausdruck für "mit Hämatomen übersät" verwendet, etwa so:

Jemand hat ihn grün und blau geschlagen.
Sein Gesicht war grün und blau.


The layman's terms are der Bluterguss/Blutergüsse and der blaue Fleck/blaue Flecke(n). A black eye is called "blaues Auge" or "Veilchen". There is no adjective directly corresponding to "bruised", you would use an expression like

Sein Arm war voller blauer Flecke / voller Blutergüsse.
Sein Arm war mit blauen Flecken übersät.

The medical term is Hämatom, the (German) Wikipedia article lists more special cases, names and definitions.

Related vocabulary: die Beule (bulge, bump), die Abschürfung (abrasion, grazing), die Schramme (scratch), Striemen (weals), die Schwellung (swelling)


There is not a single word to translate "bruised" - but German has the wonderful expression "Blaue Flecken". So a sentence like "his body was a mass of bruises afther he had been attacked" could translate to "Sein Körper war nach den Angriffen von blauen Flecken übersät".

When referring to your arm you might go for something like "an meinem Arm habe ich einige blaue Flecken".

  • ..and for a piece of fruit? Could one use the same expression? Commented Feb 4, 2023 at 11:36
  • no. "blaue Flecken" has the same origin as "black eye" in English: from the colour of your skin after some time after the injury with a blunt object. Commented Feb 4, 2023 at 15:09

A single adjective that would get the meaning across quite precisely, albeit by metaphor, is verdellt. A Delle is specifically a kind of damage inflicted by blunt impact. The actual meaning is dent, typically in metal, often on car bodies. This doesn't really correspond to the appearance of bruises, but I think it would be understood what's meant.

Note that there is also verbeult, which would be more commonly used for a car with lots of dents in it. The term Beule is indeed commonly used for impact injuries, but not so much coloured bruises but rather the kind of bumps one gets from hitting the head on something.

  • 3
    Wenn du mir sagst dass jemand "verdellt" ist, dann habe ich keine Ahnung was das bedeutet. Ein Ritter mit verdellter Rüstung vielleicht, aber für eine Person wird das nicht benutzt.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 11:17

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