: 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
: 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
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 WebAri Smith: Work to bring Suite Eleven to life started in 2015 after months of struggling with a skin condition that was linked to a number of food and chemical allergies.—Akili King, Essence, 22 Sep. 2023 When used correctly, the best humidifiers alleviate issues associated with dry air, including allergies.—Jon Bitner, wsj.com, 21 Sep. 2023 The new spray, if eventually approved, would provide a welcome alternative for many families of children with severe allergies who'd rather avoid needles.—Alexander Tin, CBS News, 20 Sep. 2023 It’s rated to be effective for spaces up to 550 square feet for normal use or 275 square feet for heavy allergy sufferers.—Rennie Dyball, Peoplemag, 19 Sep. 2023 For anyone with skin sensitivities or allergies, this is especially unhealthy.—Mary Cornetta, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Sep. 2023 The connection between a tick bite and a meat allergy might seem baffling at first.—Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 14 Sep. 2023 Dark Circles When seasonal allergies come on, under-eye swelling is likely to follow.—Kelsey Castañon, refinery29.com, 14 Sep. 2023 The unanimous vote, which specifically declared oral formulations of phenylephrine ineffective, is expected to disrupt the market for OTC cold and allergy remedies, where consumers largely prefer pills over nasal sprays.—Berkeley Lovelace Jr., NBC News, 12 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'allergy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
borrowed from German Allergie "heightened reaction to an antigen to which an individual has been previously exposed," from all-all- + -ergie, in Energieenergy, or directly from its source, Greek -ergeia, taken to mean "action, response"
The term was introduced, along with allergischallergic and Allergenallergen, 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.
: altered bodily reactivity (as hypersensitivity) to an antigen in response to a first exposure
his bee-venom allergy may render a second sting fatal
: 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