tetanus

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noun tet·a·nus \ˈte-tə-nəs, ˈtet-nəs\

Definition of tetanus

  1. 1a :  an acute infectious bacterial disease characterized by tonic spasm of voluntary muscles especially of the jaw and caused by an exotoxin of a clostridium (Clostridium tetani) which is usually introduced through a wound — compare lockjawb :  the bacterium that causes tetanus

  2. 2 :  prolonged contraction of a muscle resulting from rapidly repeated motor impulses

Origin and Etymology of tetanus

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek tetanos, from tetanos stretched, rigid; akin to Greek teinein to stretch — more at thin


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Microbiology Terms


TETANUS Defined for English Language Learners

tetanus

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noun tet·a·nus \ˈte-tə-nəs, ˈtet-nəs\

Definition of tetanus for English Language Learners

  • medical : a dangerous disease that is caused by bacteria that usually enter the body through a cut or wound


TETANUS Defined for Kids

tetanus

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noun tet·a·nus \ˈte-tə-nəs, ˈtet-nəs\

Definition of tetanus for Students

  1. :  a serious disease that is marked by spasms of the muscles especially of the jaws and that is caused by poison from a bacterium that usually enters the body through a wound


Medical Dictionary

tetanus

play
noun tet·a·nus \ˈtet-ən-əs, ˈtet-nəs\

Medical Definition of tetanus

  1. 1a:  an acute infectious disease characterized by tonic spasm of voluntary muscles and especially of the muscles of the jaw and caused by an exotoxin produced by a bacterium of the genus Clostridium (C. tetani) which is usually introduced through a wound—compare lockjawb:  tetanus bacillus

  2. 2:  prolonged contraction of a muscle resulting from a series of motor impulses following one another too rapidly to permit intervening relaxation of the muscle



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