[ti-nahy-tuh s, tin-i-]

noun Pathology.

a ringing or similar sensation of sound in the ears.

Origin of tinnitus

1685–95; < Latin tinnītus a tinkling, equivalent to tinnī(re) to tinkle + -tus suffix of v. action
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of tinnitus

British Dictionary definitions for tinnitus



pathol a ringing, hissing, or booming sensation in one or both ears, caused by infection of the middle or inner ear, a side effect of certain drugs, etc

Word Origin for tinnitus

C19: from Latin, from tinnīre to ring
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 tinnitus

1843, from Latin tinnitus, from tinnire "to ring, tinkle" (see tintinnabulation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tinnitus in Medicine


[tĭ-nītəs, tĭnĭ-]

n. pl. tin•ni•tus•es

A sound in one ear or both ears, such as buzzing, ringing, or whistling, occurring without an external stimulus and usually caused by a specific condition, such as an ear infection, the use of certain drugs, a blocked auditory tube or canal, or a head injury.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

tinnitus in Science


[tĭnĭ-təs, tĭ-nī-]

A buzzing, ringing, or whistling sound in one or both ears occurring without an external stimulus. Its causes include ear infection or blockage, certain drugs, head injury, and neurologic disease.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.