hy·​per·​ten·​sion | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈten(t)-shən How to pronounce hypertension (audio) \

Definition of hypertension

1 : abnormally high blood pressure and especially arterial blood pressure
2 : the systemic condition accompanying high blood pressure

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Did You Know?

You might have thought that hypertension was what a movie audience feels near the climax of a thriller, but you would have been wrong. High blood pressure—that is high pressure against the walls of your veins and arteries caused by blood flow—often occurs when the arteries or veins become blocked or narrowed, making the heart work harder to pump blood. But many cases seem to be the result of smoking or taking in too much salt, and many are genetically caused. Hypertension is serious, since it can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Though it often produces no warning symptoms, your blood pressure can be checked quickly and easily by a nurse. If it's high, it can usually be controlled by stopping smoking, losing weight, lowering your salt intake, and exercising—and if all else fails, by medication.

Examples of hypertension in a Sentence

He's being treated for hypertension.

Recent Examples on the Web

Cardiogram’s app measures heart rate in order to suss out a whole bunch of cardiovascular and sleep-related conditions, including sleep apnea, diabetes, and hypertension. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Novartis Defends $2.1 Million Gene Therapy After FDA Data Manipulation Claims—Brainstorm Health," 6 Aug. 2019 Exposure of children in these spaces may not be extreme enough to provoke symptoms of acute lead poisoning—which include reductions in metal capacity, kidney damage, hypertension, anemia, and reduced immunity. Feargus O'sullivan, WIRED, "The Notre Dame Fire Spread Toxic Lead Dust Over Paris," 1 Aug. 2019 There are the usual suspects, of course—black women are more likely to give birth in lower-quality hospitals, to deal with chronic conditions like hypertension, and to be uninsured. Leta Shy, SELF, "Allyson Felix Wants to Save Black Mothers," 30 July 2019 Risk factors for cardiovascular disease in humans can include age, hypertension, obesity, smoking, blood cholesterol and inactivity. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Evolution may be why humans are prone to heart attacks, study says," 22 July 2019 People over the age of 50 and those with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and organ transplants, are at greater risk for serious illness. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "Case of West Nile virus reported in Boaz," 12 July 2019 Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is when the pressure stays high over significant time, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "You Can't Rely On Symptoms When It Comes to High Blood Pressure," 11 July 2019 The medical staff on the van also provides support for chronic diseases such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, among other services. Kim Sykes/share, Cincinnati.com, "Deaconess Foundation launches new mobile health check unit," 9 July 2019 How could this be true when the majority of older adults — about 60% — have two or more chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, heart disease or kidney disease, and higher rates of physical impairment than other age groups? Judith Graham, chicagotribune.com, "Why so many older Americans rate their health as good or excellent," 26 June 2019

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

1893, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hypertension

hyper- + tension entry 1, probably after French hypertension

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Statistics for hypertension

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hypertension

The first known use of hypertension was in 1893

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More Definitions for hypertension



English Language Learners Definition of hypertension

medical : high blood pressure


hy·​per·​ten·​sion | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈten-shən How to pronounce hypertension (audio) \

Kids Definition of hypertension

: a medical condition marked by abnormally high blood pressure


hy·​per·​ten·​sion | \ ˈhī-pər-ˌten-chən How to pronounce hypertension (audio) \

Medical Definition of hypertension

1 : abnormally high arterial blood pressure that is usually indicated by an adult systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or greater or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or greater, is chiefly of unknown cause but may be attributable to a preexisting condition (as a renal or endocrine disorder), that typically results in a thickening and inelasticity of arterial walls and hypertrophy of the left heart ventricle, and that is a risk factor for various pathological conditions or events (as heart attack, heart failure, stroke, end-stage renal disease, or retinal hemorrhage) — see essential hypertension, secondary hypertension, white coat hypertension
2 : a systemic condition resulting from hypertension that is either symptomless or is accompanied especially by dizziness, palpitations, fainting, or headache

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