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.)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web People can test for cold urticaria using the ice cube test. Jeffrey Chen, The Conversation, 19 Jan. 2023 In serious cases, those suffering from cold urticaria may need an EpiPen to prevent serious harm. Leah Froats, Discover Magazine, 10 Jan. 2018 Fortunately, for many individuals, symptoms of cold urticaria disappear completely after about five years. Leah Froats, Discover Magazine, 10 Jan. 2018 These meds quell the histamine response in hives from solar urticaria, but also the reaction in PMLE. ​jessica Migala, SELF, 9 May 2022 Pai founder Sarah Brown, who suffers from chronic urticaria, created this brand to help people manage the side effects of allergies and nourish sensitive skin without potential irritants. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, 9 Jan. 2020 The condition, which Soompi reported is known as cholinergic urticaria, causes itchy hives that are caused by a raise in body temperature. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, 15 July 2019 In some cases, marks on your body may be hives (also called urticaria), which is characterized by red, itchy bumps or welts that appear suddenly upon exposure to an allergen. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, 31 May 2019 Finally — after months of Dan and wife Brittany Angerman, 28, trying to figure out what was wrong with their baby girl — Ivy was diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria on January 21. Caitlin Keating, PEOPLE.com, 11 June 2018 See More

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

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 6 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition


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

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