Acute otitis media – Definition & Meaning

Acute otitis media is a common ear infection that affects the middle ear, which is the area behind the eardrum. It is a painful condition that usually occurs in children, but can also affect adults. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of acute otitis media, its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and examples.


Acute otitis media is defined as an infection of the middle ear that causes inflammation and fluid buildup. It is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection and can be accompanied by symptoms such as ear pain, fever, and hearing loss. The condition is considered acute when it develops suddenly and lasts for a short period of time.


The word “otitis” comes from the Greek word “ot-” which means ear, and “-itis” which means inflammation. The term “acute otitis media” was first used in the medical literature in the early 20th century to describe a specific type of ear infection.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to Merriam-Webster, acute otitis media is “an acute inflammation of the middle ear characterized by pain, fever, and often the presence of purulent material in the middle ear.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “an infection of the middle ear, typically causing pain, fever, and a temporary loss of hearing.”


Acute otitis media is commonly associated with young children, as they have a higher risk of developing the condition due to their developing immune systems and smaller Eustachian tubes. It is also associated with upper respiratory tract infections and allergies.


Some synonyms of acute otitis media include middle ear infection, otitis media, and suppurative otitis media.


There are no antonyms for acute otitis media, as it is a specific medical condition.

The same root words

The root words of acute otitis media are “ot-” which means ear, and “-itis” which means inflammation. These root words are also used in other medical terms such as otitis externa (inflammation of the outer ear) and otitis interna (inflammation of the inner ear).

Example Sentences

  1. “My son was diagnosed with acute otitis media and was prescribed antibiotics.”
  2. “The doctor used a special tool to drain the fluid from my ear during my acute otitis media episode.”
  3. “Children who attend daycare are more likely to develop acute otitis media due to exposure to other sick children.”
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