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

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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 Talk of a run for governor evaporated as Faulconer refocused his efforts on hepatitis and homelessness. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 July 2021 The organization said such mandates would be no different from existing requirements that officers be immunized for tetanus and hepatitis. Los Angeles Times, 19 June 2021 Lamb grew up in Adams and was captain of the 1969 Holy Cross football team that made national headlines when it was forced into quarantine after a hepatitis outbreak two games into the season. BostonGlobe.com, 17 June 2021 The former schoolteacher has been diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis and precancerous conditions on her cervix. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 June 2021 Veterinarians regularly inoculate animals—both pets and those in natural habitats—against a range of diseases, including rabies, hepatitis and the rotavirus. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, 27 May 2021 The county asks anyone who has experienced symptoms of acute non-viral hepatitis since August 2020 within 30 days of drinking Real Water to complete a survey at www.maricopa.gov/5720/Acute-Hepatitis-associated-with-Real-Wat. Rebekah L. Sanders, The Arizona Republic, 10 June 2021 The company’s product was first highlighted by the FDA in March due to customer complaints that linked cases of non-viral hepatitis with Real Water products. Mike Wehner, BGR, 3 May 2021 Fifty more cases of non-viral hepatitis were being investigated, the health district said, with the most common symptoms reported by patients including nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite and dizziness. Ken Ritter, Star Tribune, 28 Apr. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near hepatitis



hepatitis A

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Statistics for hepatitis

Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hepatitis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hepatitis. Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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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 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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