pru·​ri·​tus prü-ˈrī-təs How to pronounce pruritus (audio) -ˈrē- How to pronounce pruritus (audio)

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Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Up to 30 percent of patients with H.L. report having pruritus for months or occasionally years before a diagnosis is made. New York Times, 14 Apr. 2021 Mosquito bites are the most common source of acute itch — or pruritus, in doctor-speak. John Kelly, Washington Post, 12 July 2020 When opioid receptors in the brain are activated, these receptors then activate fibers that transmit itch information (or pruritus) to the brain, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. Samantha Lauriello,, 12 Nov. 2019 Scientists have been investigating cannabinoids for the treatment of skin conditions such as pruritus, inflammatory skin disease, and skin cancer. Jon Cooper, STAT, 26 June 2018 Sometimes, internal hemorrhoids can prolapse outside the anus, collecting minute particles of feces or other materials and leading to intense itching known as pruritus ani. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 4 July 2017

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

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Word History


Latin, from prurire

First Known Use

1653, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pruritus was in 1653

Dictionary Entries Near pruritus

Cite this Entry

“Pruritus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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Medical Definition



pru·​ri·​tus prü-ˈrīt-əs How to pronounce pruritus (audio)
: localized or generalized itching due to irritation of sensory nerve endings : itch

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