• synonyms


[of-thal-mee-uh, op-]
  1. inflammation of the eye, especially of its membranes or external structures.
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Origin of ophthalmia

1350–1400; < Late Latin < Greek ophthalmía, equivalent to ophthalm(ós) eye + -ia -ia; replacing Middle English obtalmia < Medieval Latin, Late Latin as above
Related formsoph·thal·mi·ac [of-thal-mee-ak, op-] /ɒfˈθæl miˌæk, ɒp-/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ophthalmia

Historical Examples of ophthalmia

  • All he could conclude was that it was not ophthalmia or trachoma.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Apis is no less efficacious against the higher grades of ophthalmia.

    Apis Mellifica

    C. W. Wolf

  • His cheeks were sunken, and the eyes, though bright, were disfigured by ophthalmia.

    Darkness and Dawn

    Frederic W. Farrar

  • They often suffer from ophthalmia, though not in the virulent Egyptian form.

  • Ophthalmia is common and sometimes will attack whole tribes.

British Dictionary definitions for ophthalmia


  1. inflammation of the eye, often including the conjunctiva
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Word Origin for ophthalmia

C16: via Late Latin from Greek, from ophthalmos eye; see optic
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 ophthalmia


"inflammation of the eye, conjunctivitis," late 14c., from Medieval Latin obtalmia, Old French obtalmie, from Late Latin ophthalmia, or directly from Greek ophthalmia, from ophthalmos (see ophthalmo-) + -ia.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ophthalmia in Medicine


(ŏf-thălmē-ə, ŏp-)
  1. Severe, often purulent conjunctivitis.
  2. Inflammation of the deep eye structures.ophthalmitis
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.