rheu·​ma·​tism | \ ˈrü-mə-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce rheumatism (audio) , ˈru̇- \

Definition of rheumatism

1 : any of various conditions characterized by inflammation or pain in muscles, joints, or fibrous tissue muscular rheumatism

Examples of rheumatism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tiger-bone wine is believed to cure rheumatism, weakness, or paralysis. Jenni Marsh, CNN, "Hong Kong has more skyscrapers than nearly any city. But 60 years ago, tigers were still seen in the wild," 15 Aug. 2020 Not only does the infrared heat penetrate 2.5 inches into the skin to reach muscles and joints, but the special heat system also promotes detoxification, immune system support, and relief from arthritis, rheumatism, and fibromyalgia. Hillary Maglin, Travel + Leisure, "These Saunas Make the Perfect Addition to Your Home Gym or Spa," 25 June 2020 Arsenic has been used medicinally in Eastern and Western medicine for almost 2,500 years for a variety of conditions, from rheumatism to syphilis. New York Times, "The Universal Language of Caring," 17 Mar. 2020 The French, who once owned the territory, harvested the roots of the blue-flowered chicory plant to make teas and medicines to treat jaundice, liver enlargement gout, and rheumatism. Adele Jackson-gibson, Good Housekeeping, "Is Chicory Root Coffee Good for You? Here's What to Know About Its Health Benefits," 3 Feb. 2020 Tiger bones are coveted in Asia, especially China, for making tiger-bone wine, a status symbol thought to convey strength, or as a paste used to treat ailments such as rheumatism and back pain. Nichole Sobecki, National Geographic, "Exclusive: Inside a controversial South African lion farm," 21 Nov. 2019 Known as Himalayan Gold because it is often farmed in the Himalayan plateaus, cordyceps has long been used in ancient Chinese and Tibetan medicine for curing diarrhea, headache, cough, rheumatism, liver disease, kidney disease, and much more. Everyday Einstein Sabrina Stierwalt, Scientific American, "The Scientific Evidence for the Health Benefits of Cordyceps," 2 Oct. 2019 China has banned its sale since 1993; and demand for its use in traditional Chinese medicine (for fevers, rheumatism and gout) has fallen. The Economist, "How to curb the trade in endangered species," 8 Aug. 2019 Typically dried, ground into powder, and put into pills, pangolin scales are used in a range of traditional Chinese remedies, from treatments to help mothers with lactation to relief for arthritis and rheumatism. Paul Hilton, National Geographic, "Poaching is sending the shy, elusive pangolin to its doom," 17 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of rheumatism

1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rheumatism

Latin rheumatismus flux, rheum, from Greek rheumatismos, from rheumatizesthai to suffer from a flux, from rheumat-, rheuma flux

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rheumatism

Time Traveler for rheumatism

Time Traveler

The first known use of rheumatism was in 1670

See more words from the same year

Statistics for rheumatism

Last Updated

29 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rheumatism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rheumatism. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rheumatism


How to pronounce rheumatism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rheumatism

medical : a disease that causes stiffness and pain in the muscles and swelling and pain in the joints


rheu·​ma·​tism | \ ˈrü-mə-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce rheumatism (audio) \

Kids Definition of rheumatism

: a condition in which muscles or joints are painful


rheu·​ma·​tism | \ ˈrü-mə-ˌtiz-əm How to pronounce rheumatism (audio) , ˈru̇m-ə- How to pronounce rheumatism (audio) \

Medical Definition of rheumatism

1 : any of various conditions characterized by inflammation or pain in muscles, joints, or fibrous tissue muscular rheumatism

More from Merriam-Webster on rheumatism

Nglish: Translation of rheumatism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rheumatism

Comments on rheumatism

What made you want to look up rheumatism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!