pho·​to·​pho·​bia | \ ˌfō-tə-ˈfō-bē-ə \

Definition of photophobia

: intolerance to light especially : painful sensitiveness to strong light

Examples of photophobia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

People with light-colored eyes can be at risk for light sensitivity, called photophobia. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Eye protection is just as important as sunscreen in the Arizona summer," 17 May 2018 Sometimes there is nausea, vomiting, photophobia — your eyes become more sensitive to light —and confusion. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "What is meningitis and how can I protect my child after 2 kids die at day care?," 13 Dec. 2017

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

First Known Use of photophobia

1772, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for photophobia

New Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about photophobia

Share photophobia

Statistics for photophobia

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for photophobia

The first known use of photophobia was in 1772

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for photophobia


pho·​to·​pho·​bia | \ ˌfōt-ə-ˈfō-bē-ə \

Medical Definition of photophobia

1 : intolerance to light especially : painful sensitiveness to strong light
2 : an abnormal fear of light

More from Merriam-Webster on photophobia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with photophobia Encyclopedia article about photophobia

Comments on photophobia

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


to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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