- an acute infectious disease, often fatal, caused by the specific toxin of a bacillus (Clostridium tetani) which usually enters the body through wounds: it is characterized by spasmodic contractions and rigidity of some or all of the voluntary muscles, esp. of the jaw, face, and neck; lockjaw
- Physiol. the state of continuous contraction of a muscle, esp. when caused experimentally by a series of rapidly repeated stimuli
Origin of tetanusClassical Latin ; from Classical Greek tetanos, spasm (of muscles), literally , stretched ; from base of teinein: see thin
- An acute, often fatal disease characterized by spasmodic contraction of voluntary muscles, especially those of the neck and jaw, and caused by the toxin of the bacillus Clostridium tetani, which typically infects the body through a deep wound. Also called lockjaw.
- Physiology A state of continuous muscular contraction, especially when induced artificially by rapidly repeated stimuli.
Origin of tetanusMiddle English, from Latin, from Greek tetanos, rigid, tetanus; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(usually uncountable, plural tetani)
- (pathology, countable) A serious and often fatal disease caused by the infection of an open wound with the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium tetani, found in soil and the intestines and faeces of animals.
- (physiology, countable) A state of muscle tension caused by sustained contraction arising from a rapid series of nerve impulses which do not allow the muscle to relax.
From Latin tetanus, from Ancient Greek Ï„ÎÏ„Î±Î½Î¿Ï‚ (tetanos).