hep·​a·​ti·​tis | \ ˌhe-pə-ˈtī-təs How to pronounce hepatitis (audio) \
plural hepatitides\ ˌhe-​pə-​ˈti-​tə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce hepatitides (audio) \ also hepatitises\ ˌhe-​pə-​ˈtī-​tə-​səz How to pronounce hepatitises (audio) \

Definition of hepatitis

1 : inflammation of the liver
2 : a disease or condition (such as hepatitis A or hepatitis B) marked by inflammation of the liver

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Did You Know?

The liver, the body's largest gland, performs many important tasks, but is also vulnerable to many illnesses. At least five types of hepatitis, labeled with the letters A–E, are caused by viruses. The most common are hepatitis A, acquired through contaminated food and water; hepatitis B, which usually travels via sexual activity or shared needles; and hepatitis C, generally passed through shared needles. Some other types, including alcoholic hepatitis (caused by drinking too much alcohol), aren't infectious. There are vaccines for types A and B, and drug treatments for A, B, and C, though the drugs aren't always effective.

Examples of hepatitis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Signs and symptoms of colitis may include: diarrhea (loose stools) or more bowel movements than usual; blood in your stools or dark, tarry, sticky stools; and severe stomach area (abdomen) pain or tenderness. ● Liver problems (hepatitis). Rachel Reiff Ellis, Woman's Day, "How a Lung Cancer Diagnosis Gave One Woman a New Lease on Life," 17 Mar. 2020 On the market in the United States for a few years, the Roche system is used to screen donated blood for highly infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, Osiecki said. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "How an Indianapolis company is helping speed up coronavirus testing," 15 Mar. 2020 So Ho is stacking his shelves with polymerase and protease inhibitors and other drugs that have been developed to fight HIV and other viruses like viral hepatitis, that can interfere with this replication. Alice Park, Time, "A First-of-Its-Kind Library of Potential Coronavirus Drugs, Built at Columbia University, Funded by China's Richest Person," 26 Feb. 2020 In these places, vaccines have already eliminated infectious diseases that were once common, including polio, hepatitis, and the measles. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Everything You Need to Know About Coronavirus Vaccines," 4 Mar. 2020 The National Fire Protection Association’s 2018 United States Firefighter Injury Report estimates that firefighters that year experienced 6,175 exposures to infectious diseases, such as hepatitis, meningitis, and HIV. Eric Teichert, BostonGlobe.com, "Should Massachusetts require HIV testing of people who might have infected first responders?," 20 Feb. 2020 The drop in Louisiana is the direct result of $550 million in temporary supplemental funding that the CDC gave the state to combat the epidemic, said Chaquetta Johnson, deputy director of operations for the state’s STD/HIV/hepatitis program. Los Angeles Times, "1,306 U.S. infants were born with syphilis in 2018, even though it’s easy to prevent," 8 Oct. 2019 The center, known as Vector, houses samples of some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens, such as smallpox, ebola, bird flu, and a number of hepatitis strains. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Russian Facility That Houses Smallpox Virus Rocked by Explosion," 17 Sep. 2019 By contrast, a paltry $39 million is allotted for the prevention and control of viral hepatitis. Michael Ninburg, STAT, "The U.S. needs extra action to eliminate viral hepatitis, the nation’s deadliest infectious disease," 15 Nov. 2019

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

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First Known Use of hepatitis

circa 1751, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hepatitis

New Latin

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Time Traveler for hepatitis

Time Traveler

The first known use of hepatitis was circa 1751

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Statistics for hepatitis

Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hepatitis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hepatitis. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for hepatitis


How to pronounce hepatitis (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hepatitis

medical : a serious disease of the liver that causes fever and makes your skin and eyes yellow


hep·​a·​ti·​tis | \ ˌhe-pə-ˈtī-təs How to pronounce hepatitis (audio) \

Kids Definition of hepatitis

: a disease which is caused by a virus and in which the liver is damaged and there is yellowing of the skin and fever


hep·​a·​ti·​tis | \ ˌhep-ə-ˈtīt-əs How to pronounce hepatitis (audio) \
plural hepatitides\ -​ˈtit-​ə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce hepatitides (audio) \ also hepatitises\ -​ˈtīt-​ə-​səz \

Medical Definition of hepatitis

1 : inflammation of the liver
2 : a disease or condition (as hepatitis A or hepatitis B) marked by inflammation of the liver

Other Words from hepatitis

hepatitic \ -​ˈtit-​ik How to pronounce hepatitic (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on hepatitis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hepatitis

Spanish Central: Translation of hepatitis

Nglish: Translation of hepatitis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hepatitis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hepatitis

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