chik·​un·​gun·​ya ˌchi-kən-ˈgu̇n-yə How to pronounce chikungunya (audio)
: a febrile disease that resembles dengue, occurs especially in parts of Africa, India, and southeastern Asia, and is caused by a togavirus (species Chikungunya virus of the genus Alphavirus) transmitted especially by aedes mosquitoes
Chikungunya is rarely fatal but can cause severe fevers, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and muscle and joint pains.Martin Enserink

Examples of chikungunya in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Treatment and prevention For those who have been exposed and have symptoms, a blood test can confirm the presence of chikungunya or other similar viruses. Melissa Rudy, Fox News, 11 Nov. 2023 The chikungunya virus is transmitted to people through bites from infected mosquitoes. Melissa Rudy, Fox News, 11 Nov. 2023 Some of the most prominent viruses in this category are yellow fever, West Nile, Zika, chikungunya, dengue, and Japanese encephalitis. Larry Brilliant, Foreign Affairs, 20 Dec. 2022 The bacteria also doesn’t allow the viruses that cause Zika, dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya to replicate inside the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Ritu Prasad, CNN, 12 Sep. 2023 These mosquitoes also spread Zika, chikungunya, and other viruses. Dr. Adiba Matin, ABC News, 27 Sep. 2023 Autochthonous cases of chikungunya fever on the Caribbean island, Saint Martin. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 15 Jan. 2014 The list also includes dengue fever, leprosy, and chikungunya. Paula Andalo | Kff Health News, NBC News, 15 Aug. 2023 While most of the approximately 200 mosquito species in the US are harmless, there are about a dozen which can pass on diseases to humans, including chikungunya, dengue, zika and West Nile viruses. Laura Paddison, CNN, 29 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chikungunya.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Kimakonde (Bantu language of the Makonde), alleged to mean "that which bends up"

First Known Use

1954, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chikungunya was in 1954

Dictionary Entries Near chikungunya

Cite this Entry

“Chikungunya.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


chik·​un·​gun·​ya ˌchik-ən-ˈgu̇n-yə, ˌchik-u̇ŋ- How to pronounce chikungunya (audio)
: a febrile disease that resembles dengue, occurs especially in parts of Africa, India, and southeastern Asia, and is caused by a togavirus of the genus Alphavirus (species Chikungunya virus) transmitted by mosquitoes especially of the genus Aedes

called also chikungunya fever

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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