tabes dorsalis


tabes dor·​sa·​lis -dȯr-ˈsa-ləs How to pronounce tabes dorsalis (audio)
: a syphilitic disorder of the nervous system marked by wasting, pain, limb weakness, ataxia, and disorders of sensation and vision resulting from degeneration of the spinal cord

called also locomotor ataxia

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Manet was suffering from tabes dorsalis, the degeneration of nerves in the dorsal column of his spinal cord, a primary symptom of which was locomotor ataxia. Colin B. Bailey, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020

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

Word History


New Latin, dorsal tabes

First Known Use

circa 1681, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tabes dorsalis was circa 1681

Dictionary Entries Near tabes dorsalis

Cite this Entry

“Tabes dorsalis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition

tabes dorsalis


tabes dor·​sa·​lis -dȯr-ˈsā-ləs How to pronounce tabes dorsalis (audio) -ˈsal-əs How to pronounce tabes dorsalis (audio)
: a syphilitic disorder that involves the dorsal horns of the spinal cord and the sensory nerve trunks and that is marked by wasting, pain, lack of coordination of voluntary movements and reflexes, and disorders of sensation, nutrition, and vision

called also locomotor ataxia

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