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 The industry hummed along in wild west fashion until 2005, when the FDA began requiring that gamete banks test donors for communicable diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis, and chlamydia. Caitlin Harrington, Wired, "There's No Such Thing as Family Secrets in the Age of 23andMe," 30 July 2020 Viral persistence is seen in HIV, chronic hepatitis, chickenpox/shingles and herpes simplex, and Epstein-Barr. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, "How Long Does Coronavirus Last? What to Expect if You Contract COVID-19," 8 July 2020 Ducks and other water birds muck about while carrying myriad strains of influenza A; pigs aren’t fazed by hosting hepatitis E. Rachel Ehrenberg, Ars Technica, "The bat-virus détente," 3 July 2020 The Trump administration is not funding vaccine approaches that have been used for more than 50 years, including for current vaccines against hepatitis, flu, polio, and rabies. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, "Scientists worry 'Operation Warp Speed' is missing tried and true vaccines," 17 June 2020 Influenza seems to work this way, as do GI diseases like norovirus and STDs like hepatitis C. Popular Science, "The truth about asymptomatic COVID-19," 9 June 2020 The various interferons, which are prescribed for hepatitis, cancers, and many other diseases, can cause flu-like symptoms. Sharon Begley, STAT, "‘It’s something I have never seen’: How the Covid-19 virus hijacks cells," 21 May 2020 Other viruses associated with clotting complications include hepatitis, measles and HIV. Roxanne Khamsi, Wired, "Covid-19's Scary Blood Clots Aren't That Surprising," 7 May 2020 American labs rely on about 200 of the m2000 machines nationwide for various other tests like HIV and hepatitis. Nick Penzenstadler, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus testing giant performs high-wire act of promises vs. reality," 13 Apr. 2020

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

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hepatitis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hepatitis. Accessed 14 Aug. 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

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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