a suffix used in pathological terms that denote inflammation of an organ (bronchitis; gastritis; neuritis ) and hence, in extended senses, nouns denoting abnormal states or conditions, excesses, tendencies, obsessions, etc. (telephonitis; baseballitis ).

< Neo-Latin (or Latin) -ītis < Greek

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World English Dictionary
suffix forming nouns
1.  indicating inflammation of a specified part: tonsillitis
2.  informal indicating a preoccupation with or imaginary condition of illness caused by: computeritis; telephonitis
[New Latin, from Greek, feminine of -itēs belonging to; see -ite1]

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Word Origin & History

noun suffix denoting diseases characterized by inflammation, Mod.L., from Gk. -itis, fem. of adj. suffix -ites "pertaining to." Fem. because it was used with fem. noun nosos "disease," e.g. Gk. arthritis (nosos) "(disease) of the joints."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

-itis suff.
Inflammation or disease of: laryngitis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
A suffix meaning "inflammation," as in bronchitis, inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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