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

There are special events and educational programming, including classes that look at Baltimore’s history or events that encourage seniors to get checked for hepatitis-C, or learn about healthcare fraud and abuse. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Lansdowne-Baltimore Highlands Senior Center celebrates 30 years," 21 June 2019 Chik is an RNA virus, just like influenza, West Nile virus, hepatitis and Ebola, among others. Quanta Magazine, "How Mutant Viral Swarms Spread Disease," 25 Aug. 2015 Her mother insisted the worker's blood be tested for hepatitis and HIV; tests revealed no issues. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Muskego college student found blood in her Fuji apple salad at a Waukesha Panera, police say," 10 June 2019 His son, Joe, got hepatitis and strep throat in 2012 from swallowing a little bit of water while surfing the Tijuana Slough – a popular big-wave surf spot south of Imperial Beach near the mouth of the Tijuana River. Gustavo Solis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "How do you run a surf shop when sewage spills constantly close the beach?," 27 May 2018 Research has found that this is most commonly the case with HIV and hepatitis. Amanda Chatel, Glamour, "5 Tips I Wish I'd Known About How to Prepare for Anal Sex," 18 May 2019 Right now, selfie medicine is used for treating tuberculosis and hepatitis, but it could be applied to any medication, including drugs for mental illnesses and disabilities. Angela Chen, The Verge, "‘Selfie medicine’ might help people take their pills — at the cost of their privacy," 28 Mar. 2018 At least 40% of North Korea’s population is undernourished, and such diseases as tuberculosis and hepatitis are rampant, according to U.N. reports. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, "The Last Americans in North Korea: Christian Missionaries," 19 Mar. 2018 In writing medical-marijuana laws, state lawmakers and initiative authors have gone well beyond pain and nausea control, lauding the plant as an effective treatment for a long list of conditions, including hepatitis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Peter B. Bach, WSJ, "If Weed Is Medicine, So Is Budweiser," 17 Jan. 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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Statistics for hepatitis

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hepatitis

The first known use of hepatitis was circa 1751

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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 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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