• synonyms


a suffix used in pathological terms that denote inflammation of an organ (bronchitis; gastritis; neuritis) and hence, in extended senses, nouns denoting abnormal states or conditions, excesses, tendencies, obsessions, etc. (telephonitis; baseballitis).

Nearby words

-istics, -ite, -itic, -ition, -itious, -itis, -itive, -itol, -ity, -ium, -ive

Origin of -itis

< New Latin (or Latin) -ītis < Greek Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for -itis


suffix forming nouns

indicating inflammation of a specified parttonsillitis
informal indicating a preoccupation with or imaginary condition of illness caused bycomputeritis; telephonitis

Word Origin for -itis

New Latin, from Greek, feminine of -itēs belonging to; see -ite 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for -itis


noun suffix denoting diseases characterized by inflammation, Modern Latin, from Greek -itis, feminine of adjectival suffix -ites "pertaining to." Feminine because it was used with feminine noun nosos "disease," especially in Greek arthritis (nosos) "(disease) of the joints," which was one of the earliest borrowings into English and from which the suffix was abstracted in other uses.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for -itis



Inflammation or disease of:laryngitis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for -itis


A suffix meaning “inflammation,” as in bronchitis, inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.