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

Examples of pruritus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web More than 65% of patients reported that the itch was worse at night, known as nocturnal pruritus, a high unmet need. Sacramento Bee, 5 Feb. 2024 Pinworm Symptoms The primary symptom of a pinworm infection is anal itching, or anal pruritus. Samantha Lauriello, Health, 9 May 2023 Increase in Blood Flow Other factors can increase nighttime itching, also called nocturnal pruritus. Emily Shiffer, Health, 7 Mar. 2023 He was referred to the psychiatry department by his primary-care physician (PCP) because of a 2-year-long complaint of pruritus [itching] accompanied by the belief of being infested with parasites. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 19 Feb. 2011 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 See More

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

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 28 Feb. 2024.

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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