pho·​to·​pho·​bia ˌfō-tə-ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce photophobia (audio)
: intolerance to light
especially : painful sensitiveness to strong light

Examples of photophobia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Symptoms usually include: Fever Headache Stiff neck Additional symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, confusion and photophobia (when eyes are more sensitive to light). Sara Moniuszko, CBS News, 29 Mar. 2024 Ocular photosensitivity, or photophobia, is associated with a number of conditions, including certain allergies, albinism, and migraine, to name a few, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Alexis Berger, SELF, 20 Mar. 2024 So was the photophobia. New York Times, 11 Aug. 2021 She was diagnosed with uveitis and sarcoidosis of the eye – which includes blurred vision, photophobia, floaters, redness and pain — in 1999. Journal Sentinel, 27 Oct. 2022 Along with photophobia, sound sensitivity is also possible. Sarah Lemire,, 19 Jan. 2022 Symptoms to be aware of include sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, photophobia and altered mental status. Fox News, 12 Nov. 2019 People with light-colored eyes can be at risk for light sensitivity, called photophobia. Lauren Castle, azcentral, 17 May 2018 Sometimes there is nausea, vomiting, photophobia — your eyes become more sensitive to light —and confusion. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, 13 Dec. 2017

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

Word History


New Latin

First Known Use

1772, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of photophobia was in 1772

Dictionary Entries Near photophobia

Cite this Entry

“Photophobia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


pho·​to·​pho·​bia ˌfōt-ə-ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce photophobia (audio)
: intolerance to light
especially : painful sensitiveness to strong light
: an abnormal fear of light

More from Merriam-Webster on photophobia

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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