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

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 Israel has seen more than 40 cases of the severe hepatitis in children, including two infants who received transplants. Lena H. Sun, Washington Post, 17 May 2022 Cases of acute hepatitis in children have been showing up over the past several months around the globe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Maggie O'neill, SELF, 13 May 2022 Health officials remain perplexed by the causes of the hepatitis and say the best available evidence points to a stomach bug that isn’t known to cause liver problems in otherwise healthy kids. Fox News, 5 Aug. 2022 In total, there were 23 cases of unexplained hepatitis in the study, compared against 136 controls. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 26 July 2022 As of July 8, 35 countries had reported a collective 1,010 probable cases of severe acute hepatitis with an unknown cause to the WHO. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 26 July 2022 Between last October and July 8, 1,010 probable cases of unexplained hepatitis in children occurred in 35 countries, including the U.S., according to the World Health Organization. Denise Roland, WSJ, 25 July 2022 Their research suggests there has not been an increase in cases of pediatric hepatitis of unknown origin, at least in the United States. Helen Branswell, STAT, 18 June 2022 More than 700 children across the globe have been found to have probable cases of severe hepatitis with an unknown cause, officials from the World Health Organization said in a press conference on Wednesday. Sony Salzman, ABC News, 14 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near hepatitis



hepatitis A

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Statistics for hepatitis

Last Updated

20 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hepatitis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hepatitis. Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for hepatitis


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 hepatitis (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 hepatitis (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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