her·​nia | \ ˈhər-nē-ə How to pronounce hernia (audio) \
plural hernias or herniae\ ˈhər-​nē-​ˌē How to pronounce hernia (audio) , -​nē-​ˌī \

Definition of hernia

: a protrusion of an organ or part (such as the intestine) through connective tissue or through a wall of the cavity (as of the abdomen) in which it is normally enclosed

called also rupture

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Other Words from hernia

hernial \ ˈhər-​nē-​əl How to pronounce hernia (audio) \ adjective

Examples of hernia in a Sentence

He was treated for hernia.
Recent Examples on the Web Marchand is already back on the ice after sports hernia surgery Sept. 14, and is expected to participate in workouts when training camp begins Sunday. Andrew Mahoney, BostonGlobe.com, "Don Sweeney says Bruins made an offer to Zdeno Chara months ago," 31 Dec. 2020 In another case, in May 2018, a 66-year-old man was driving himself to the emergency room at the Kansas City VA Medical Center to get treatment for an infection from a hernia surgery. jsonline.com, "New police force in America: More hospitals are creating private departments, raising concerns about secrecy and abuse," 15 Dec. 2020 Without reliable antibiotics, even relatively routine surgery—Cesarean sections, hernia repair, appendix or tonsil removal—could be deadly. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, "When a Virus Is the Cure," 14 Dec. 2020 Her neighbor Randy Hood — a garbage worker in Unit 31 who had been living with a hernia as the coronavirus delayed his surgery — ran to help. Matthias Gafni, San Francisco Chronicle, "Napa’s ‘Lake People’ feel stranded, abandoned," 24 Dec. 2020 Lee will make his season debut after undergoing sports hernia surgery in September. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "Cowboys injury updates: LB Sean Lee to make season debut; center Joe Looney to return vs. Eagles," 31 Oct. 2020 The girl had her second hernia surgery in a year in early October. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "Golden Gate bus drivers losing jobs at troubled transit agency: ‘We won’t be able to stay above water’," 29 Nov. 2020 Late last month, Lewis suffered a hernia and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith holds off Republican challenger Jason Lewis," 4 Nov. 2020 The veteran linebacker has been working through a sports hernia. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Source: Cowboys to place RT La’el Collins, LB Sean Lee on injured reserve list," 5 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hernia.' 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 hernia

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hernia

Middle English hernia, hernie, hirnia, borrowed from Latin hernia, hirnia, of uncertain origin

Note: See note at haruspex.

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Time Traveler for hernia

Time Traveler

The first known use of hernia was in the 14th century

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Statistics for hernia

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hernia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hernia. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce hernia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hernia

medical : a painful condition in which an organ (such as the intestine) pushes through the muscles that are around it


her·​nia | \ ˈhər-nē-ə How to pronounce hernia (audio) \
plural hernias or herniae\ -​nē-​ˌē How to pronounce hernia (audio) , -​nē-​ˌī How to pronounce hernia (audio) \

Medical Definition of hernia

: a protrusion of an organ or part through connective tissue or through a wall of the cavity in which it is normally enclosed

called also rupture

— see abdominal hernia, hiatal hernia, strangulated hernia

Other Words from hernia

hernial \ -​nē-​əl How to pronounce hernia (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on hernia

Nglish: Translation of hernia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hernia for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hernia

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