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Saint Vitus' dance

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noun Saint Vi·tus' dance \-ˈvī-təs-, -ˈvī-tə-səz-\

Definition of Saint Vitus' dance

  1. :  chorea —called also Saint Vitus's dance, \same\



Origin of saint vitus' dance

St. Vitus, 3d century Christian child martyr


First Known Use: 1621


Medical Dictionary

Saint Vitus' dance

noun Saint Vi·tus' dance

Medical Definition of Saint Vitus' dance

  1. :  chorea; especially :  sydenham's chorea



Biographical Note for saint vitus' dance

Vitus, Saint (died circa 300), Italian martyr. Saint Vitus is believed by some to have lived during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian. According to legend, while still a child he delivered the emperor's daughter of an evil spirit. Because he was a Christian, however, he was subjected to various tortures, including being thrown into a cauldron filled with pitch and molten lead. He survived the torture intact, but he and his Christian nurse were ultimately put to death. People suffering from chorea have traditionally invoked his name for relief.

Variants of saint vitus' dance

also Saint Vitus's dance \-ˌvīt-əs(-əz)-\play play

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