meningitis

noun
men·​in·​gi·​tis | \ˌme-nən-ˈjī-təs \
plural meningitides\-​ˈji-​tə-​ˌdēz \

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.

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Other Words from meningitis

meningitic \-​ˈji-​tik \ adjective

Examples of meningitis in a Sentence

She was diagnosed with spinal meningitis.

Recent Examples on the Web

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 In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Illinois' first West Nile mosquitoes of the year found in north suburbs," 30 May 2018 In the early stages, diagnosis is difficult since Ebola can be difficult to distinguish from malaria, typhoid fever, meningitis, yellow fever and other infectious diseases. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Ebola 101: Answers to your questions about causes, symptoms, transmission and treatments," 25 May 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.

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First Known Use of meningitis

1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for meningitis

New Latin

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Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

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The first known use of meningitis was in 1824

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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 \
plural meningitides\-​ˈjit-​ə-​ˌdēz \

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

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