pri·​a·​pism | \ ˈprī-ə-ˌpi-zəm How to pronounce priapism (audio) \

Definition of priapism

: an abnormal often painful persistent erection of the penis

Examples of priapism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Portis’s diffident, modestly gallant characters were a world away from the marital bonfires and priapisms of other male writers of his crop—Roth, Updike, Yates. Wells Tower, The New Yorker, "What Charles Portis Taught Us," 20 Feb. 2020 Lastly, and saddest of all, the Corvette will lose its hood of goodly length, the conspicuous priapism that has defined the mission for 65 years. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Corvette ZR1: The Last, and Best, of Its Kind," 28 Nov. 2018

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

First Known Use of priapism

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for priapism

French priapisme, from Middle French, ultimately from Greek Priapos (traditionally portrayed in Greco-Roman art with an erect penis)

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The first known use of priapism was in 1601

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Cite this Entry

“Priapism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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pri·​a·​pism | \ ˈprī-ə-ˌpiz-əm How to pronounce priapism (audio) \

Medical Definition of priapism

: an abnormal, more or less persistent, and often painful erection of the penis especially : one caused by disease rather than sexual desire

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