my·​e·​li·​tis ˌmī-ə-ˈlī-təs How to pronounce myelitis (audio)
plural myelitides ˌmī-ə-ˈli-tə-ˌdēz How to pronounce myelitis (audio)
: inflammation of the spinal cord or of the bone marrow

Examples of myelitis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There were three cases of transverse myelitis—a condition where there is spinal cord inflammation—in people who received the vaccine. Anju Goel, Verywell Health, 9 May 2024 In 2016, Jordison revealed that his exit from Slipknot coincided with his getting sick with a disease called transverse myelitis and claimed that his bandmates confused his medical issues with a substance abuse problem. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, 5 Nov. 2023 Transverse myelitis is caused by a viral attack on the spinal cord, according to John Hopkins Medicine. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 2 Nov. 2023 In 2016, the Murderdolls guitarist explained that shortly before his dismissal from Slipknot, he was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis, a neurological condition that limited the use of his legs. Sadie Bell, Peoplemag, 6 Nov. 2023 These include inflammatory conditions such as meningitis, encephalitis and myelitis, but research conducted by Wilson and his colleagues also tackles emerging neurologic pathogens such as West Nile virus, Ebola virus, Zika virus, and most recently, COVID-19. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Dec. 2020 The participant developed symptoms consistent with a rare but serious spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis. Ed Silverman, STAT, 9 Sep. 2020 The rise might be more specifically attributed to enterovirus D68, which, in rare cases, can lead to acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM. Carma Hassan, CNN, 27 Sep. 2022 Doctors should prepare for a possible increase in young patients with enterovirus D68, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday, and that may be linked to more cases of the rare, paralyzing condition acute flaccid myelitis. Carma Hassan, CNN, 27 Sep. 2022

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin (in German context), from Greek myelós "bone marrow" + New Latin -itis -itis — more at myelo-

Note: The word was apparently introduced by the German physician Christian Friedrich Harless (Harleß, in some of his publications Harles, 1773-1853) in "Valerian Aloys Brera über die Entzündung des Rückenmarks," Jahrbücher der teutschen Medicin und Chirurgie, 2. Band (1813), p. 244. Harless's essay purports to be a translation of "Della rachialgite - Cenni patologici" by the Italian physician Valeriano Luigi Brera (1772-1840), published in Atti dell'Accademia italiana di lettere, scienze, ed arti, tomo primo, parte prima, Livorno, 1810, pp. 247-76. Brera, however, uses only the word rachialgite for inflammation of the spinal chord, which Harless latinizes as Rhachialgitis. In a footnote introducing this word Harless adds: "Man könnte auch wohl, noch bezeichnender, für die Entzündung des Rückenmarks selbst den Namen Myelitis wählen, um so füglicher, weil μυελος bei Hippokrates, Galen, u.a. griech. Aertzen häufig ohne den Zusatz des Beiworts νωτιαιος (dorsalis) zur Bezeichnung des Rückenmarks gebraucht wird." ("One could as well also choose myelitis as a more aptly characterizing name for inflammation of the spinal marrow, the more justifiable because Hippocrates, Galen and other Greek physicians frequently used myelos without the addition of the modifying word nōtiaios (dorsalis [spinal]) as a designation for spinal marrow.")

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of myelitis was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near myelitis

Cite this Entry

“Myelitis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


my·​e·​li·​tis ˌmī-ə-ˈlīt-əs How to pronounce myelitis (audio)
plural myelitides -ˈlit-ə-ˌdēz How to pronounce myelitis (audio)
: inflammation of the spinal cord or of the bone marrow
myelitic adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on myelitis

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!