Origin of photophobia

First recorded in 1790–1800; photo- + -phobia Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for photophobia

Historical Examples of photophobia

British Dictionary definitions for photophobia


  1. pathol abnormal sensitivity of the eyes to light, esp as the result of inflammation
  2. psychiatry abnormal fear of or aversion to sunlight or well-lit places
Derived Formsphotophobic, adjective
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 photophobia

1799, from photo- + -phobia. Related: Photophobic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

photophobia in Medicine


  1. An abnormal sensitivity to or intolerance of light, especially by the eyes, as may be caused by eye inflammation, lack of pigmentation in the iris, or various diseases.
  2. An abnormal or irrational fear of light.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.