meningitis

noun
men·​in·​gi·​tis | \ ˌme-nən-ˈjī-təs How to pronounce meningitis (audio) \
plural meningitides\ ˌme-​nən-​ˈji-​tə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce meningitis (audio) \

Definition of meningitis

: inflammation of the meninges and especially of the pia mater and arachnoid specifically : a disease marked by inflammation of the meninges that is either a relatively mild illness caused by a virus (such as various Coxsackieviruses) or a more severe usually life-threatening illness caused by a bacterium (especially the meningococcus, Neisseria meningitides, or the serotype designated B of Haemophilus influenzae)

Note: Meningitis is often marked by fever, headache, vomiting, malaise, and stiff neck, and if left untreated in bacterial forms, may progress to confusion, stupor, convulsions, coma, and death.

Other Words from meningitis

meningitic \ ˌme-​nən-​ˈji-​tik How to pronounce meningitis (audio) \ adjective

Examples of meningitis in a Sentence

She was diagnosed with spinal meningitis.
Recent Examples on the Web Most troubling, the snails can carry rat lungworm, which is known to cause meningitis. al, 8 July 2022 Giant African land snails can carry a parasite called rat lungworm, known to cause meningitis in humans and livestock. Saleen Martin, USA TODAY, 1 July 2022 The big exception is very young infants—2 months or less or with compromised immunity—who can develop deadly complications like sepsis and meningitis. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 20 May 2022 Early versions of the vaccine were linked to aseptic meningitis, or swelling of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. Blake Essig, CNN, 26 Feb. 2021 But In 1999, a case of bacterial meningitis led to septic shock, the loss of her kidney and spleen, and the amputations of both her legs just below the knees. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Feb. 2022 Meningococcal disease usually presents as an infection of meningitis or a bloodstream infection about three to seven days after exposure, the CDC said. CBS News, 23 June 2022 One daughter, who was already suffering from tuberculosis, died of meningitis, while another lived only a few hours after her birth. Stanley Stewart, Travel + Leisure, 24 Apr. 2022 Because tiny particles of dust can increase the risk of meningitis, the disease is most prevalent in a swath of Africa called the Meningitis Belt, where people are regularly exposed to airborne sand and dust from the Sahara. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 20 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of meningitis

1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for meningitis

New Latin

Learn More About meningitis

Time Traveler for meningitis

Time Traveler

The first known use of meningitis was in 1824

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Dictionary Entries Near meningitis

meningioma

meningitis

meningococcus

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for meningitis

Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Meningitis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/meningitis. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for meningitis

meningitis

noun
men·​in·​gi·​tis | \ ˌmen-ən-ˈjīt-əs How to pronounce meningitis (audio) \
plural meningitides\ -​ˈjit-​ə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce meningitis (audio) \

Medical Definition of meningitis

: inflammation of the meninges and especially of the pia mater and the arachnoid specifically : a disease marked by inflammation of the meninges that is either a relatively mild illness caused by a virus (such as various Coxsackieviruses) or a more severe usually life-threatening illness caused by a bacterium (especially the meningococcus, Neisseria meningitides, or the serotype designated B of Haemophilus influenzae)

Note: Meningitis is often marked by fever, headache, vomiting, malaise, and stiff neck, and if left untreated in bacterial forms, may progress to confusion, stupor, convulsions, coma, and death.

More from Merriam-Webster on meningitis

Nglish: Translation of meningitis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meningitis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about meningitis

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