tin·​ni·​tus | \ ˈti-nə-təs, tə-ˈnī-təs\

Definition of tinnitus

: a sensation of noise (such as a ringing or roaring) that is typically caused by a bodily condition (such as a disturbance of the auditory nerve or wax in the ear) and usually is of the subjective form which can only be heard by the one affected

Examples of tinnitus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The substance can be used medically to treat tinnitus, dizziness and chest pain. Beth Harris, The Seattle Times, "US swim nationals set to go on without banned Lochte," 24 July 2018 Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder that produces feelings of vertigo, as well as tinnitus (or ringing) and hearing loss. Jordan Runtagh, PEOPLE.com, "Huey Lewis Opens Up About Sudden Hearing Loss: 'I Haven't Come to Grips with the Fact That I May Never Sing Again'," 7 May 2018 The affected personnel exhibited several health problems that resemble those caused by mild brain trauma such as a concussion, including sharp ear pain, dull headaches, tinnitus, vertigo, disorientation, nausea and extreme fatigue. Gardiner Harris, New York Times, "25th Person at U.S. Embassy in Cuba Is Mysteriously Sickened," 21 June 2018 But foam isn’t great in all cases (like for people with tinnitus), and a $50 noise machine might not be worth much if there’s ungodly snoring happening right beside you. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Bose’s new $250 Sleepbuds play soothing sounds instead of music," 20 June 2018 These symptoms are due to a condition called tinnitus. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Protect your ears: you might not realize what’s hurting them," 19 June 2018 Symptoms to be attentive for include dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US pulls two more from Cuba amid puzzling health cases now affecting China," 11 June 2018 In addition to concussions and hearing loss, other symptoms associated with the mysterious auditory sensations are dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and difficulty sleeping. Mimi Whitefield, miamiherald, "U.S. sets up task force to investigate diplomatic health incidents in Cuba and China," 5 June 2018 According to online websites on ear diseases, Meniere's can cause pressure or pain in the ear, severe cases of dizziness or vertigo, hearing loss and a ringing or roaring noise known as tinnitus. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Huey Lewis says he's lost most of his hearing: 'I can't hear music well enough to sing'," 13 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of tinnitus

1843, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tinnitus

Latin, ringing, tinnitus, from tinnire to ring, of imitative origin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tinnitus

Dictionary Entries near tinnitus






tin opener

tin ore

Statistics for tinnitus

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tinnitus

The first known use of tinnitus was in 1843

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tinnitus



English Language Learners Definition of tinnitus

medical : a condition that causes you to hear ringing or roaring sounds that only you can hear


tin·​ni·​tus | \ ˈtin-ət-əs, ti-ˈnīt-əs \

Medical Definition of tinnitus

: a sensation of noise (as a ringing or roaring) that is caused by a bodily condition (as a disturbance of the auditory nerve or wax in the ear) and typically is of the subjective form which can only be heard by the one affected

More from Merriam-Webster on tinnitus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tinnitus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tinnitus

Comments on tinnitus

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


a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
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!