hep·a·ti·tis | \ˌhe-pə-ˈtī-təs \
plural hepatitides\ˌhe-pə-ˈti-tə-ˌdēz \ also hepatitises\ˌhe-pə-ˈtī-tə-səz \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Rathburn was convicted of providing some body parts for medical training without disclosing that they were infected with hepatitis or HIV. Fox News, "Feds ask judge to OK cremation at end of body parts probe," 7 June 2018 Ashland, Kentucky, in Boyd County has seen an increase in hepatitis cases and reported 23 in the last several months, according to the report. Melissa Neeley, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio officials warn of Hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky," 21 Apr. 2018 Veteran enrollment for healthcare has skyrocketed, and Congress continues to expand benefits for those already in the system, with care for Agent Orange victims and high-cost medications for hepatitis patients. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "Veterans Affairs failures go beyond ousted secretary David Shulkin," 29 Mar. 2018 Typically, donors should also not be suffering from high blood pressure, uncontrollable diabetes, HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. Deanese Williams-harris, chicagotribune.com, "People are using social media to improve their odds of finding organ donors: 'Doing it can save my life'," 6 July 2018 Four years ago, an employee at a northeast Charlotte Papa John's restaurant became ill and was diagnosed with hepatitis A. Breaking News Be the first to know when big news breaks Recaptcha requires verification. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "After a Hardee's hepatitis A scare, here's what the county could do to reduce risk," 28 June 2018 There will also be 12 new public-health nurse jobs and $1.6 million to fight hepatitis A. City News Service, Ramona Sentinel, "Supervisors approve $6 billion budget that bolsters mental health services," 27 June 2018 Homeless people, especially the chronically homeless, experience health problems as disparate as tooth infections and eye problems, trench foot, and body lice up through infectious diseases like tuberculosis and hepatitis A. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Big Tech Isn’t the Problem With Homelessness. It’s All of Us," 21 June 2018 Vaccines are available for some types of hepatitis but not all. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Hepatitis outbreaks: 10 things to know about the liver disease," 15 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of hepatitis

circa 1751, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hepatitis

New Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hepatitis

Statistics for hepatitis

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hepatitis

The first known use of hepatitis was circa 1751

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hepatitis



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 \

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 \
plural hepatitides\-ˈtit-ə-ˌdēz \ 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 \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on hepatitis

What made you want to look up hepatitis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!