in·​flam·​ma·​tion | \ˌin-flə-ˈmā-shən \

Definition of inflammation 

1 : a local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue

2 : the act of inflaming : the state of being inflamed

Examples of inflammation in a Sentence

The drug is used to reduce inflammation. inflammations of the throat and ears

Recent Examples on the Web

Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream, ointment, or oral medication to help keep inflammation and itching at bay during flare-ups, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "What Causes Eczema, Anyway?," 13 July 2018 The study outlines other health consequences posed by exposure to air pollution, including inflammation and complications in the autonomic nervous system, which controls unconscious bodily functions like heartbeats and breathing. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "Air pollution increases risk for type 2 diabetes, study finds," 12 July 2018 Next, Zeichner recommends taking an anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, and staying well hydrated to help reduce the systemic inflammation and speed up the healing of the sunburn. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "The Symptoms of Sun Poisoning (and How to Treat Them)," 11 July 2018 More serious side effects could include choking, esophageal inflammation and stomach rupture. Amy Kraft, CBS News, "How competitive eaters do it – and what it does to them," 4 July 2018 The bulk of the funds — $450 million — will be devoted to oncology, inflammation and immunology, rare disease, internal medicine, and vaccines. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Philippine official blames deaths on Sanofi dengue vaccine; Pfizer wants you to know it still invests in neuroscience," 6 June 2018 Karns has battled right elbow inflammation all season and hasn’t pitched in a game since his final spring-training outing on March 22. Maria Torres, kansascity, "'I don't know how it happened': Soler's late homer lifts Royals to a win over the A's," 2 June 2018 The trifecta of salicylic acid, green tea, and licorice root extract reduces redness, soothes inflammation, and unclogs pores. Karina Hoshikawa, Teen Vogue, "How to Get Rid of Bacne: Acne Tips and Tricks," 1 June 2018 The first was for shoulder inflammation and the second for an elbow strain. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Brewers fan as a kid, Cameron Roegner now dominating for them in the minor leagues," 29 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

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The first known use of inflammation was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of inflammation

: a condition in which a part of your body becomes red, swollen, and painful


in·​flam·​ma·​tion | \ˌin-flə-ˈmā-shən \

Kids Definition of inflammation

: a bodily response to injury or disease in which heat, redness, and swelling are present


in·​flam·​ma·​tion | \ˌin-flə-ˈmā-shən \

Medical Definition of inflammation 

: a local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, pain, swelling, and often loss of function and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue

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