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[uh-tak-see-uh] /əˈtæk si ə/
noun, Pathology.
loss of coordination of the muscles, especially of the extremities.
Also, ataxy
[uh-tak-see, a-tak-] /əˈtæk si, æˈtæk-/ (Show IPA)
Compare tabes dorsalis.
Origin of ataxia
1605-15; < New Latin < Greek: indiscipline, equivalent to a- a-6 + táx(is) -taxis + -ia -ia
Related forms
ataxic, adjective
preataxic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ataxia
Historical Examples
  • Does not get on feet when turned on side; ataxia well marked.

  • His name was Sabathier, and for fifteen years he had been stricken with ataxia.

  • It seemed he was suffering from a form of ataxia, rapid in its progress and very painful.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • Consequently it would be indicated under all circumstances where a nervous affection seemed to depend upon a state of ataxia.

  • She married a thirty-year-old active business man, in whom ataxia developed a year after marriage.

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
  • The usefulness of electricity in ataxia has been denied by some authors, while others praise it indiscriminately.

    Fat and Blood S. Weir Mitchell
  • He had no ataxia or loss of sensibility in the upper half of the body.

    Fat and Blood S. Weir Mitchell
  • Slight scoliosis of the vertebral column and a misshapen right foot recalled Friedreich's ataxia.

  • ataxia had declared itself; he was able to walk now only leaning on his servant's arm.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • While I have used it with good effect in other conditions, it is in ataxia that I have found it of most value.

    Fat and Blood S. Weir Mitchell
British Dictionary definitions for ataxia


(pathol) lack of muscular coordination
Derived Forms
ataxic, atactic, adjective
Word Origin
C17: via New Latin from Greek: lack of coordination, from a-1 + -taxia, from tassein to put in order
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ataxia

also anglicized as ataxy, "irregularity of bodily functions," 1610s, "confusion, disorder," medical Latin, from Greek ataxia, from a-, privative prefix, + taxis "arrangement, order," from stem of tassein "to arrange" (see tactics). Pathological sense is attested from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ataxia in Medicine

ataxia a·tax·i·a (ə-tāk'sē-ə) or a·tax·y (ə-tāk'sē)
Loss of the ability to coordinate muscular movement. Also called dyssynergia, incoordination.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ataxia in Science
Loss of muscular coordination as a result of damage to the central nervous system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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