ic·​tus | \ ˈik-təs How to pronounce ictus (audio) \

Definition of ictus

: the recurring stress or beat in a rhythmic or metrical series of sounds

First Known Use of ictus

1752, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ictus

borrowed from Latin, "stroke, blow, beat (in music or metrics)," from ic-, variant stem of īcere "to strike with a weapon, smite, affect strongly" (perhaps going back to Indo-European *h2i-h2iḱ-é-, reduplicated present stem from a verbal base *h2ei̯ḱ- "to run through (with something pointed), spear") + -tus, suffix of action nouns

Note: For nominal derivatives of *h2ei̯ḱ- see etymology at aichmophobia. If such a verbal base exists, the only evidence for its survival in a verb would be Latin īcere (assuming the correctness of the etymology).

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The first known use of ictus was in 1752

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Cite this Entry

“Ictus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ictus. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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ic·​tus | \ ˈik-təs How to pronounce ictus (audio) \

Medical Definition of ictus

1 : a beat or pulsation especially of the heart
2 : a sudden attack or seizure especially of stroke

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