from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See tetanus.
  • n. An early sign of tetanus, in which the jaw is locked closed because of a tonic spasm of the muscles of mastication. Also called trismus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A spasmodic, nervous system disease brought on by the tetanus bacteria. It causes muscles to seize up and may cause death by suffocation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A contraction of the muscles of the jaw by which its motion is suspended; a variety of tetanus; trismus.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In pathology, tetanus; trismus. See tetanus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Gangrene, as a consequence of contusions or of hemorrhage or of an impediment to the circulation, caused by unskillfully applied apparatus, must not be overlooked among the occasional incidents; nor must lockjaw, which is not an uncommon occurrence.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tetanus, also known as lockjaw disease, can cause painful tightening of muscles in the body, and can lead to death in one out of 10 cases.

    The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

  • Tetanus: Also known as lockjaw; causes painful muscle spasms, breathing failure, death - Home Page

  • They are: diphtheria, a respiratory infection; tetanus, which is also known as lockjaw; and pertussis, which is also known as whooping cough.

    Beatrice Daily Sun News Articles

  • She had a kind of lockjaw of grief such as children suffer and suffer for.

    We Can't Have Everything

  • Tetanus, also known as "lockjaw;" Diphtheria, an upper respiratory disease; and Pertussis, also known as "whooping cough."

    News for Opelika-Auburn News

  • Sadly, the goldeye were apparently exhibiting the kind of lockjaw that often comes with scudding clouds and falling barometers.

    Edmonton Sun

  • = of tetanus; illness also known as "lockjaw"; caused by bacteria

    behind AotW

  • The most eminent physician of the thirteenth century, Gilbertus Anglicus (Gilbert of England, 1170–1230), wrote that when treating a wounded nerve, it should first be cut across to relieve pain and prevent lockjaw (tetanus) and that a mixture of earthworms and oil beaten together should be applied.

    Modern Science in the Bible

  • And does the drone of a slow-trolling outboard motor give the fish lockjaw?

    Stocker Psychology


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  • Mild lockjaw is no great hardship.

    November 12, 2007

  • One of the few words in English containing the letter sequence 'kj'.

    November 12, 2007