nys·​tag·​mus | \ ni-ˈstag-məs How to pronounce nystagmus (audio) \

Definition of nystagmus

: involuntary usually rapid movement of the eyeballs occurring normally with dizziness during and after bodily rotation or abnormally following head injury or as a symptom of disease

Other Words from nystagmus

nystagmic \ ni-​ˈstag-​mik How to pronounce nystagmus (audio) \ adjective

Examples of nystagmus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Officers performed a horizontal gaze nystagmus, a type of field sobriety test, and said Kumar failed four of six measures used to determine if someone is intoxicated. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, 5 May 2022 Little Johnny [who has low vision and nystagmus] was impressive in this episode. Dan Snierson, EW.com, 6 Apr. 2022 Apl’s life changed, however, when an American lawyer signed up to become his sponsor through the Pearl S. Buck Foundation and in 1986 brought him to Los Angeles with hopes of correcting his nystagmus, defined by the American Optometric Assn. Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2021 With nystagmus, a disability that causes involuntary eye movement, Saylor’s vision with glasses is 20/200 and approximately 20/1400 without. Grant Stoner, Wired, 17 Aug. 2021 He was born with a condition called nystagmus that causes involuntary eye movement and makes his vision blurry and hard to focus. Terry Collins, USA TODAY, 28 June 2021 Not only did his acuity improve tremendously, but his nystagmus was reduced. Susan R. Barry, WSJ, 18 June 2021 In the late 1800s, British coal miners would sometimes develop nystagmus, after working underground for several years. Rebecca Sohn, STAT, 22 Feb. 2021 Winans, who played at Greenway High, has ocular albinism and nystagmus, a rare genetic condition that substantially limits his vision and makes his extremely sensitive to light. Kent Somers, azcentral, 23 Oct. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nystagmus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of nystagmus

1772, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nystagmus

New Latin, from Greek nystagmos drowsiness, from nystazein to doze; probably akin to Lithuanian snusti to doze

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The first known use of nystagmus was in 1772

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nystagmus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nystagmus. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for nystagmus


nys·​tag·​mus | \ nis-ˈtag-məs How to pronounce nystagmus (audio) \

Medical Definition of nystagmus

: involuntary usually rapid movement of the eyeballs (as from side to side) occurring normally with dizziness during and after bodily rotation or abnormally following head injury or as a symptom of disease

More from Merriam-Webster on nystagmus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nystagmus


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