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 In addition to the elderly, people at risk for serious health risks and death from coronavirus have underlying conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer. Deborah Barfield Berry, USA TODAY, "Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans tend to have poor health. Coronavirus could ravage their communities.," 30 Mar. 2020 Some are currently taken for Type II diabetes, cancer and hypertension. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Scientists identify 69 drugs that could slow or stop coronavirus, but more testing remains," 24 Mar. 2020 In fact, changes your doctor detects in your eyes can flag conditions like diabetes, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, and maybe even your risk for Alzheimer’s — not to mention ocular diseases, which can sneak up on you. Meryl Davids Landau, Good Housekeeping, "How to Maintain Good Eye Health, According to Doctors," 13 Mar. 2020 Michos says a lot of people are walking around unaware with plaques and hypertension. Erin Michos, National Geographic, "We know that viruses can trigger a heart attack or stroke.," 10 Mar. 2020 Moore’s research has mostly focused on behavioral changes following a cardiac event or chronic hypertension. Phillip Morris, cleveland, "COVID-19 defenses starts with a hard look at dirty habits: Phillip Morris," 8 Mar. 2020 As many people with high blood pressure (hypertension) work to lower their sodium intake, questions arise on how to flavor food without adding too much salt. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Seasoning blends: Lower sodium varieties still pack plenty of flavor," 5 Mar. 2020 Side effects include hypertension, cancer risks, permanent lowering of the voice. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "The Cowardly Republicans of South Dakota," 13 Feb. 2020 The majority of the victims, 11, had preexisting conditions, including hypertension, diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "China Quarantines Additional Cities and Cancels Lunar New Year Celebrations as Coronavirus Spreads," 23 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for hypertension

Time Traveler

The first known use of hypertension was in 1893

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Statistics for hypertension

Last Updated

5 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hypertension.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypertension. Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for hypertension


How to pronounce hypertension (audio)

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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