Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-itis

Inflammatory disease.

[Greek feminine form of adjectives ending in -itēs.]

In Greek, such adjectives were often used alone, with a following noun understood, especially nosos, disease. For example, though nephritis in classical Greek strictly meant ‘of the kidneys’, it actually referred to a disease of that organ. Application specifically to inflammations occurred in English from the eighteenth century onwards. A large number of such terms now exists, of which a few are given in the list below.

The ending is often used facetiously in temporary formations that refer to some state of mind or tendency viewed as a disease: celebritis, excessive admiration for celebrities; electionitis; lotteryitis; millenniumitis.

Examples of words in -itis

appendicitis inflammation of the appendix English appendix
arthritis disease causing inflammation of the joints Greek arthron, joint
bronchitis inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tubes Greek bronkhos, windpipe
colitis inflammation of the lining of the colon English colon, from Greek kolon
conjunctivitis inflammation of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye Latin conjungere, join together
cystitis inflammation of the urinary bladder Greek kustis, bladder
dermatitis an inflammatory condition of the skin Greek derma, dermat-, skin
encephalitis inflammation of the brain Greek enkephalos, brain
gastritis inflammation of the lining of the stomach Greek gastēr, gastr-, stomach
hepatitis inflammation of the liver Greek hēpar, hēpat-, liver
mastitis inflammation of the mammary gland in the breast or udder Greek mastos, breast
meningitis inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that line the skull Greek mēninx, mēning-, membrane
poliomyelitis an infectious viral disease that can cause paralysis Greek polios, grey, plus muelos, marrow

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