ring·​worm ˈriŋ-ˌwərm How to pronounce ringworm (audio)
: any of several contagious fungal diseases of the skin, hair, or nails of humans and domestic animals that are characterized by ring-shaped discolored skin patches covered with vesicles and scales

Examples of ringworm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Further Reading Drug-resistant ringworm reported in US for first time; community spread likely Last year, a dermatologist in New York reported the country's first cases of a newly emerging skin fungus that is highly contagious and resistant to common antifungal treatments. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 16 Jan. 2024 Athlete’s foot—also known as tinea pedis or foot ringworm—is a fungal infection that impacts the feet. Sherri Gordon, Verywell Health, 30 Jan. 2024 Hair loss can also be a symptom of a health condition that requires treatment such as a nutrient deficiency, thyroid disorder, an autoimmune condition, or even a skin condition like ringworm, among others. Christin Perry, Parents, 10 Sep. 2023 We had been infected with barber disease, the doctor told us, a kind of ringworm spread first by barbers’ tools, then by children touching heads at school. Safiya Sinclair, The New Yorker, 31 July 2023 Public health officials urged doctors to be on the lookout for ringworm infections, also known as tinea, that do not respond to traditional first-line treatments. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 May 2023 Complications of ringworm infections can include secondary bacterial infections and, in rare cases, infections that reach deeper into the skin that can be serious. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 12 May 2023 People can get ringworm after petting a farm animal or even a dog or cat that has an infection. Jen Christensen, CNN, 11 May 2023 This skin-friendly shampoo cleanses your companion's skin and coat effectively and helps to deodorize and heal fungal and bacterial infections such as hot spots, ringworm, and acne, as well as minor wounds, abrasions, and insect stings. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 16 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ringworm was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near ringworm

Cite this Entry

“Ringworm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ringworm. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


ring·​worm ˈriŋ-ˌwərm How to pronounce ringworm (audio)
: a contagious skin disease caused by fungi and marked by ring-shaped discolored patches

Medical Definition


ring·​worm ˈriŋ-ˌwərm How to pronounce ringworm (audio)
: any of several contagious diseases of the skin, hair, or nails of humans and domestic animals caused by fungi (as of the genus Trichophyton) and characterized by ring-shaped discolored patches on the skin that are covered with vesicles and scales

called also tinea

More from Merriam-Webster on ringworm

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