oph·​thal·​mia äf-ˈthal-mē-ə How to pronounce ophthalmia (audio)
: inflammation of the conjunctiva or the eyeball

Examples of ophthalmia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During the Italian campaign Hannibal rode an elephant through a swamp off the Arno and lost the sight in his right eye from what was probably ophthalmia. Smithsonian, 28 June 2017

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

Word History


Middle English obtalmia, borrowed from Late Latin ophthalmia (Medieval Latin also obtalmia), borrowed from Greek ophthalmía, from ophthalmós "eye" + -ia -ia entry 1 ophthalmo-

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ophthalmia was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ophthalmia

Cite this Entry

“Ophthalmia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ophthalmia. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


oph·​thal·​mia äf-ˈthal-mē-ə, äp- How to pronounce ophthalmia (audio)
: inflammation of the conjunctiva or the eyeball
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