ur·​ti·​car·​ia ˌər-tə-ˈker-ē-ə How to pronounce urticaria (audio)
: hives
urticarial adjective

Did you know?

Hives can be caused by a number of things. It can be a reaction to the piece of food you ate, the new medication you took, or irritants in the air you breathe, among other causes. Urticaria was named in the 18th century for its resemblance to the rash caused by nettle, a plant of the genus Urtica. That genus name reflects the Latin word for "nettle" and is also related to the Latin verb urere, meaning "to burn." (It's easy to see the connection here if you know that many species of nettle have stinging hairs that irritate the skin.)

Examples of urticaria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pressure Reduction Physical urticaria is a type of hives caused by a stimulus like squeezing or rubbing. Karen Pallarito, Health, 24 Mar. 2024 The medication is also used to treat certain patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria, or chronic hives, and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. Cailey Gleeson, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Red has to break up a fight between the last Montano and Raoul, which triggers Raoul's urticaria. Tanya Melendez, EW.com, 23 June 2023 Cold Urticaria Winter temperatures may also bring on cold urticaria, which is hives brought about by cold temperatures, Chadha explained. Julia Landwehr, Health, 4 Jan. 2024 Cold urticaria has two main types: acquired and familial. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 14 Dec. 2023 Hives Hives, also called urticaria, are itchy, raised welts that can be red or skin-colored. Health Editorial Team, Health, 30 Oct. 2023 One study found that night shift workers were at a higher risk for experiencing chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU). Julia Naftulin, Health, 4 Aug. 2023 What does sun rash look like with solar urticaria? ​jessica Migala, SELF, 9 May 2022

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

Word History


New Latin, from Latin urtica nettle

First Known Use

circa 1771, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of urticaria was circa 1771


Dictionary Entries Near urticaria

Cite this Entry

“Urticaria.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urticaria. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


ur·​ti·​car·​ia ˌərt-ə-ˈkar-ē-ə, -ˈker- How to pronounce urticaria (audio)
: hives
urticarial adjective

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