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 meningitides (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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from meningitis

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

Examples of meningitis in a Sentence

She was diagnosed with spinal meningitis.

Recent Examples on the Web

Authorities determined the infant girl died from acute meningitis and didn't consider her death suspicious. Chris Carola, Fox News, "Woman who killed daughter in '80s granted parole on 7th try," 16 July 2018 The infection caused eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, a rare kind of meningitis. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "How Parasites Can Lie Dormant for Years Before Killing You," 6 Nov. 2018 Those 12 men then took a cocktail of different antibiotics used for a range of conditions from drug-resistant bacterial meningitis to chlamydia. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Gut bacteria recover from antibiotics, but they may take six months," 28 Oct. 2018 After her sister Andrée died from meningitis in 1917, the teenage Huguette had learned to be self-sufficient and keep herself company. Meryl Gordon, Town & Country, "The Curious Life and Shocking Death of Huguette Clark," 21 May 2014 Coming off that stretch of dates, the vocalist was hit with a bout of meningitis, which led to a loss of hearing. Dave Gil De Rubio, Detroit Free Press, "Roger Daltrey teams with DSO for Meadow Brook performance of 'Tommy'," 3 July 2018 In some individuals, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Highland Park area mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus," 3 July 2018 The most serious cases can lead to life-threatening conditions such as meningitis and encephalitis, according to the Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "West Nile Virus season has begun: 8 birds have tested positive in Sac County," 25 June 2018 Health Department officials said illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. Staff Report, Aurora Beacon-News, "Mosquitoes near Elburn test positive for West Nile virus," 15 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of meningitis

1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for meningitis

New Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about meningitis

Statistics for meningitis

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for meningitis

The first known use of meningitis was in 1824

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for meningitis

meningitis

noun

English Language Learners Definition of meningitis

medical : a serious and often deadly disease in which an outside layer of the brain or spinal cord becomes infected and swollen

meningitis

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on meningitis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with meningitis

Spanish Central: Translation of meningitis

Nglish: Translation of meningitis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meningitis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about meningitis

Comments on meningitis

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

WORD OF THE DAY

highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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