lam·​i·​ni·​tis ˌla-mə-ˈnī-təs How to pronounce laminitis (audio)
: inflammation of and damage to the laminae (see lamina sense 4) and coffin bone in the hoof of a domesticated animal (such as a horse or cow) that is typically caused by poor diet, obesity, or diseases associated with inflammation : founder entry 3
Complications linked to obesity in horses can be debilitating, such as the condition laminitis. This leads to inflammation and swelling in the hooves, causing extreme pain, and can be fatal.Phoebe Southworth

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Two months later, Barbaro developed laminitis in his left rear foot. Beth Harris,, 8 May 2023 Although surgery was successful, the horse eventually developed a painful, often-crippling hoof condition called laminitis and the decision was made to euthanize him January 29, 2007. The Courier-Journal, 27 Apr. 2023 He was diagnosed with laminitis, a painful condition in which the hoof is no longer able to adequately support the leg bones. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2023 The two-time Horse of the Year was euthanized in 2001 after a battle with laminitis and buried whole, a rare honor for race horses, wearing pink, the color of his original owners and breeders at Harbor View Farm. The Courier-Journal, 24 Apr. 2023 Tucker’s deteriorating health — neurological issues and laminitis, causing excruciatingly painful strains to his body, compounded by the impending challenges of managing these concerns in winter months — brought Hogan and the team at Windrush to make the call after consulting with a veterinarian., 3 Dec. 2021 Secretariat had an extremely severe case of laminitis, which meant there was excruciating damage to the tissue between his hoof and underlying coffin bone. The Courier-Journal, 14 Mar. 2023 Tootsie Roll was diagnosed with laminitis, an inflammation and damage of the tissue between the hoof and an underlying bone. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Oct. 2021 Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner, died from laminitis following his breakdown at the Preakness Stakes. Jeff Goertzen, The Mercury News, 30 June 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'laminitis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin

First Known Use

1837, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of laminitis was in 1837

Dictionary Entries Near laminitis

Cite this Entry

“Laminitis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Medical Definition


lam·​i·​ni·​tis ˌlam-ə-ˈnīt-əs How to pronounce laminitis (audio)
: inflammation of and damage to a lamina especially in the hoof of a horse, cow, or goat that is typically caused by excessive feeding or poor nutrition

called also founder

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!