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 Patients suffering from tuberculosis, rheumatism and gout flocked to the property’s three turn-of-the-20th-century soaking pools, surrounded by rocks and palm trees. Mickey Rapkin, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2021 When rheumatism forced him to seek treatment in Seattle, best wishes were addressed to Young Viking. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Dec. 2020 One woman brought her son, who suffered from a chronic illness that doctors in the region hadn’t been able to identify; Shikankov quickly diagnosed the boy’s rheumatism. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 8 Dec. 2020 Tiger-bone wine is believed to cure rheumatism, weakness, or paralysis. Jenni Marsh, CNN, 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, 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, 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, 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, 21 Nov. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for rheumatism

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The first known use of rheumatism was in 1670

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rheumatism root

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Cite this Entry

“Rheumatism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rheumatism. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for rheumatism



English Language Learners Definition of rheumatism

: 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


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