Saint Vitus' danceplay
Definition of Saint Vitus' dance
: chorea —called also Saint Vitus's dance \same\
Origin and Etymology of saint vitus' dance
St. Vitus, 3rd century Christian child martyr
First Known Use: 1621See Words from the same year
Biographical Note for saint vitus' dance
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.
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