Meningism, also called meningismus or pseudomeningitis, is a set of symptoms similar to those of meningitis but not caused by meningitis.
Whereas meningitis is inflammation of the meninges (membranes that cover the central nervous system), meningism is caused by nonmeningitic irritation of the meninges, usually associated with acute febrile illness, especially in children and adolescents.
Meningism involves the triad (3-symptom syndrome) of nuchal rigidity (neck stiffness), photophobia (intolerance of bright light), and headache. It therefore requires differentiating from other CNS problems with similar symptoms, including meningitis and some types of intracranial hemorrhage. Related clinical signs include Kernig's sign and three signs all named Brudzinski's sign.