American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An acute, often fatal disease characterized by spasmodic contraction of voluntary muscles, especially those of the neck and jaw, and caused by the toxin of the bacillus Clostridium tetani, which typically infects the body through a deep wound. Also called lockjaw.
- n. Physiology A state of continuous muscular contraction, especially when induced artificially by rapidly repeated stimuli.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A disease characterized by a more or less violent and rigid spasm of many or all of the muscles of voluntary motion. ; ; . The varieties of this disease are trismus, or lockjaw
- n. In physiology, the state or condition of prolonged contraction which a muscle assumes under rapidly repeated stimuli.
- n. pathology, countable A serious and often fatal disease caused by the infection of an open wound with the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium tetani, found in soil and the intestines and faeces of animals.
- n. physiology, countable A state of muscle tension caused by sustained contraction arising from a rapid series of nerve impulses which do not allow the muscle to relax.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Med.) A painful and usually fatal disease, resulting generally from a wound, and having as its principal symptom persistent spasm of the voluntary muscles. When the muscles of the lower jaw are affected, it is called
locked-jaw, or lickjaw, and it takes various names from the various incurvations of the body resulting from the spasm.
- n. (Physiol.) That condition of a muscle in which it is in a state of continued vibratory contraction, as when stimulated by a series of induction shocks.
- n. a sustained muscular contraction resulting from a rapid series of nerve impulses
- n. an acute and serious infection of the central nervous system caused by bacterial infection of open wounds; spasms of the jaw and laryngeal muscles may occur during the late stages
- From Latin tetanus, from Ancient Greek τέτανος. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Latin, from Greek tetanos, rigid, tetanus; see ten- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“In developed countries tetanus is typically thought of as infecting wounds in adults who have injured themselves; however, in the developing world many infants suffer from neonatal tetanus.”
“The bacteria that causes tetanus is called Clostridium tetani.”
“But scientists say tetanus is caused by dirt and germs, not rust.”
“Actually, they recently found that tetanus comes from the soil, not from rust.”
“It may very well build my character for my house to be burned down, my wife to be raped, and one of my children to die from tetanus from a knife wound.”
“We can never eliminate tetanus from the environment, so this vaccine will always be required.”
“Unlike most vaccine - preventable diseases, tetanus is not a disease that you catch from someone else.”
“Although tetanus bacteria are everywhere, tetanus is an uncommon cause of disease in the United States.”
“Lockers are so rusted, I would assume tetanus is a real concern.”
“With larger doses this tetanus is cut short and extinguished by the contracture - the only effect of acetylcholine on frog's muscle which earlier work had recognized.”
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