cogwheel rigidity

noun
cog·​wheel rigidity | \ ˈkäg-ˌ(h)wēl- How to pronounce cogwheel rigidity (audio) \

Medical Definition of cogwheel rigidity

: muscular rigidity in which passive movement of the limbs (as during a physical examination) elicits ratchet-like start-and stop movements through the range of motion of a joint (as of the elbow) and that occurs especially in individuals affected with Parkinson's disease The third major sign, rigidity (sometimes called "cogwheel" rigidity), is peculiar to Parkinson's disease. When a limb is bent, it seems to catch at regular points throughout its range of motion, much as a second hand jerks from interval to interval instead of smoothly traversing the face of a clock.— Harriet Washington, The Harvard Medical School Health Letter, May 1993

called also cogwheeling

Learn More about cogwheel rigidity

Cite this Entry

“Cogwheel rigidity.” Merriam-Webster.com Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/cogwheel%20rigidity. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Comments on cogwheel rigidity

What made you want to look up cogwheel rigidity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!