tenesmus

noun

te·​nes·​mus tə-ˈnez-məs How to pronounce tenesmus (audio)
: a distressing but ineffectual urge to evacuate the rectum or bladder

Examples of tenesmus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Shigella infections known as shigellosis can cause a fever, abdominal cramping, tenesmus and diarrhea that is bloody. Amanda Sealy, CNN, 25 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tenesmus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Latin tēnesmos, tēnesmus, borrowed from Greek teinesmós, from teínein "to stretch, strain" + -esmos, suffix of action nouns — more at tenant entry 1

First Known Use

1527, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tenesmus was in 1527

Dictionary Entries Near tenesmus

Cite this Entry

“Tenesmus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenesmus. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

tenesmus

noun
te·​nes·​mus tə-ˈnez-məs How to pronounce tenesmus (audio)
: a distressing but ineffectual urge to evacuate the rectum or urinary bladder
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