ton·​sil·​li·​tis ˌtän(t)-sə-ˈlī-təs How to pronounce tonsillitis (audio)
: inflammation of the tonsils

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Grint also recounted suffering from tonsillitis for several years after filming 2005's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (the fourth film in the franchise). Glenn Garner, Peoplemag, 30 Jan. 2023 Shejust had her fourth child and came down with a chronic case of tonsillitis after one of her older children came home with strep throat. Gretchen Cuda Kroen, cleveland, 17 Jan. 2023 Issues that potentially create blockage of the airway such as sinus infections, nasal polyps and tonsillitis can exacerbate snoring, according to Yale Medicine. Jacob Livesay, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2023 In rare cases, bad breath can be caused by other kinds of illnesses or infections — tonsillitis, sinus or lung infections, liver cirrhosis, kidney diseases, pharyngitis or even mouth or neck cancer, Dr. Moretti said. Melinda Wenner Moyer, New York Times, 13 Oct. 2022 A month later, Feldstein dropped out of weekend shows to deal with a bout of tonsillitis. Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2022 In 1964, when Starr was hospitalized with tonsillitis, Nicol was recruited to play eight shows with the band. Washington Post, 3 Dec. 2021 The former investment banker grew up plagued by bouts of tonsillitis, sore throats, and constant visits to nose and throat doctors. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 27 Oct. 2021 Stein, a Toronto native, had chronic tonsillitis from the age of seven and was severely allergic to antibiotics. Michella Oré, Glamour, 5 Nov. 2020 See More

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

Word History


New Latin

First Known Use

1801, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tonsillitis was in 1801

Dictionary Entries Near tonsillitis

Cite this Entry

“Tonsillitis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


ton·​sil·​li·​tis ˌtän(t)-sə-ˈlīt-əs How to pronounce tonsillitis (audio)
: inflammation of the tonsils

Medical Definition


ton·​sil·​li·​tis ˌtän(t)-sə-ˈlīt-əs How to pronounce tonsillitis (audio)
: inflammation of the tonsils and especially the palatine tonsils typically due to viral or bacterial infection and marked by red enlarged tonsils usually with sore throat, fever, difficult swallowing, hoarseness or loss of voice, and tender or swollen lymph nodes

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