tet·​a·​ny | \ ˈte-tə-nē How to pronounce tetany (audio) , ˈtet-nē \

Definition of tetany

: a condition of physiological calcium imbalance marked by tonic spasm of muscles and often associated with deficient parathyroid secretion

Examples of tetany in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The veterinarian was at the farm checking the cows for grass tetany. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, 10 June 2021

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

First Known Use of tetany

circa 1885, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tetany

International Scientific Vocabulary, from Latin tetanus

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Time Traveler

The first known use of tetany was circa 1885

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Cite this Entry

“Tetany.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tetany. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for tetany


tet·​a·​ny | \ ˈtet-ᵊn-ē, ˈtet-nē How to pronounce tetany (audio) \
plural tetanies

Medical Definition of tetany

: a condition of physiological calcium imbalance that is marked by intermittent tonic spasm of the voluntary muscles and is associated with deficiencies of parathyroid secretion or other disturbances (as vitamin D deficiency)

More from Merriam-Webster on tetany

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tetany


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