allergy

noun

al·​ler·​gy ˈa-lər-jē How to pronounce allergy (audio)
plural allergies
1
: altered bodily reactivity (such as hypersensitivity) to an antigen in response to a first exposure
a bee venom allergy so severe that a second sting may be fatal
2
: exaggerated or pathological immunological reaction (as by sneezing, difficult breathing, itching, or skin rashes) to substances, situations, or physical states that are without comparable effect on the average individual
3
: medical practice concerned with allergies
4
: a feeling of antipathy or aversion

Example Sentences

Many people have some form of allergy. independent-minded people who seem to have an allergy to any control from the government
Recent Examples on the Web The same goes for people who are vegan, vegetarian orpeople who have a milk allergy, Jeffery said. Saleen Martin, USA TODAY, 18 Oct. 2022 Put another way, Petite Maman has a severe allergy to malarky, and so there is no malarky to be found in its 1 hour 10-minute duration. Andy Crump, The Week, 22 Apr. 2022 The child had strong reactions to bee stings before, but the doctor told his mother that his reactions didn’t rise to the level of an allergy. Pam Mcloughlin, Hartford Courant, 14 Sep. 2022 Why hasn’t a test been developed to determine if a person has this allergy before prescribing it? Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 13 May 2022 Milk could cause serious or life-threatening reactions to those who have an allergy. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, 10 Feb. 2022 However, people who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to eggs run the risk of developing a life-threatening condition. Chris Smith, BGR, 1 Feb. 2022 While bagless options are often not a favorite for allergy sufferers, the APEX might be the exception. Jodhaira Rodriguez, Good Housekeeping, 27 Oct. 2022 Some allergy sufferers genuinely don’t respond to treatment, and researchers are still studying why that is, Wedner says. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 21 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'allergy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from German Allergie "heightened reaction to an antigen to which an individual has been previously exposed," from all- all- + -ergie, in Energie energy, or directly from its source, Greek -ergeia, taken to mean "action, response"

Note: The term was introduced, along with allergisch allergic and Allergen allergen, by the German physician Clemens Peter Freiherr von Pirquet (1874-1929) in "Allergie," Münchener medizinische Wochenschrift, 53. Jahrgang, Nr. 30 (July 24, 1906), pp. 1457-58.

First Known Use

1908, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of allergy was in 1908

Dictionary Entries Near allergy

Cite this Entry

“Allergy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allergy. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

allergy

noun

al·​ler·​gy ˈal-ər-jē How to pronounce allergy (audio)
plural allergies
1
: exaggerated or abnormal reaction (as by sneezing, itching, or rashes) to substances, situations, or physical states that do not have such a strong effect on most people
2
: a feeling of dislike

Medical Definition

allergy

noun

al·​ler·​gy ˈal-ər-jē How to pronounce allergy (audio)
plural allergies
1
: altered bodily reactivity (as hypersensitivity) to an antigen in response to a first exposure
his bee-venom allergy may render a second sting fatal
2
: exaggerated or pathological reaction (as by sneezing, respiratory embarrassment, itching, or skin rashes) to substances, situations, or physical states that are without comparable effect on the average individual
3
: medical practice concerned with allergies

More from Merriam-Webster on allergy

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