lu·​pus | \ ˈlü-pəs How to pronounce lupus (audio) \

Definition of lupus

1 : any of several diseases characterized by skin lesions especially : systemic lupus erythematosus sense 2
2 Lupus, astronomy : a southern constellation that is visible between the constellations of Scorpius and Centaurus and that is represented by the figure of a wolf Above Lupus lies Scorpius, one of the few constellations whose star pattern actually suggests the object that it is named for. In the myths, the scorpion was assigned by Artemis, the hunting goddess, to kill Orion, far across the sky.— Don Moser

Examples of lupus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The lawsuit originally was filed on behalf of StemGenex customers who say their $14,900 treatments were ineffective in treating lupus, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other conditions. Michael Hiltzik,, "Judge approves class action case against clinic peddling unproven stem cell therapy," 1 July 2019 Linda Nall, the neighbor who had put it up, had been struggling with lupus since 1986, and the disease started to attack her kidneys in 2001. Leah Asmelash And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "He wanted to help a neighbor. In the process, he became the oldest living kidney donor," 9 June 2019 According to a report just published by the National Academy of Sciences, Mexican gray wolves are a unique subspecies (Canis lupus baileyi) of gray wolf, and red wolves are a legitimate, separate wolf species (Canis rufus). Joel Sartore, National Geographic, "These rare wolves are unique species. Here’s why that matters.," 5 Apr. 2019 Amid this strife, an unlikely resident has moved in: a scarce breed of Indian wolves (Canis lupus pallipes). Josh Adler, National Geographic, "Making peace in the Golan Heights—between humans and wolves," 11 Apr. 2019 Some research has shown associations between endometriosis and autoimmune disorders; I was later diagnosed with lupus in 2018. Azmia Magane, Allure, "The Importance of Listening to Your Body — Even When Doctors Aren't Listening to You," 8 Apr. 2019 Chronic pain is a broad category that includes arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, and even opioid addiction disorder, said Donna Leusner, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health. Jan Hefler,, "Most medical patients in New Jersey may now be eligible to use cannabis," 28 Mar. 2018 And every part of the body has advantages and disadvantages: The immune system is crucial but can be too reactive, leading to autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘Good Reasons for Bad Feelings’ Review: Suffering’s Silver Lining," 13 Feb. 2019 More on chronic illness: Watch how this lupus advocate finds beauty in illness: Follow Allure on Instagram and Twitter, or subscribe to our newsletter for daily beauty stories delivered right to your inbox. Ilana Kaplan, Allure, "Selma Blair Reveals She Has Multiple Sclerosis in Heartfelt Post," 22 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lupus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of lupus

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lupus

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, wolf

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lupus

Dictionary Entries near lupus


lupulic acid



lupus erythematosus



Statistics for lupus

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lupus

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lupus



English Language Learners Definition of lupus

medical : a disease that affects the nervous system, joints, and skin


lu·​pus | \ ˈlü-pəs How to pronounce lupus (audio) \

Medical Definition of lupus

: any of several diseases (as lupus vulgaris or systemic lupus erythematosus) characterized by skin lesions

More from Merriam-Webster on lupus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lupus

Britannica English: Translation of lupus for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lupus

What made you want to look up lupus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having no luck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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