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delirium tremens

[tree-muh nz, -menz] /ˈtri mənz, -mɛnz/
noun, Pathology.
a withdrawal syndrome occurring in persons who have developed physiological dependence on alcohol, characterized by tremor, visual hallucinations, and autonomic instability.
Abbreviation: d.t.
Also called the d.t.'s.
Origin of delirium tremens
1813; < New Latin: trembling delirium


or D.T



[dee-teez] /ˈdiˈtiz/
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for d.t.
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Look here, Frank, can you understand me, or have you got d.t. too bad?

    A Double Knot George Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for d.t.

delirium tremens

/ˈtrɛmɛnz; ˈtriː-/
a severe psychotic condition occurring in some persons with chronic alcoholism, characterized by delirium, tremor, anxiety, and vivid hallucinations Abbreviation dt, (informal) DT's
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, literally: trembling delirium
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 d.t.


abbreviation of delirium tremens (q.v.), attested from 1858.

delirium tremens


1813, medical Latin, literally "trembling delirium," introduced 1813 by British physician Thomas Sutton, for "that form of delirium which is rendered worse by bleeding, but improved by opium. By Rayer and subsequent writers it has been almost exclusively applied to delirium resulting from the abuse of alcohol" [Sydenham Society Lexicon of Medicine]. As synonyms, Farmer lists barrel-fever, gallon distemper, blue Johnnies, bottle ache, pink spiders, quart-mania snakes in the boots, triangles, uglies, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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d.t. in Medicine

delirium tremens delirium tre·mens (trē'mənz)
Abbr. DT
An acute, sometimes fatal episode of delirium that is usually caused by withdrawal or abstinence from alcohol following habitual excessive drinking and that is characterized by sweating, trembling, anxiety, confusion, and hallucinations.

DT abbr.

  1. delirium tremens

  2. duration tetany

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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d.t. in Science
delirium tremens
  (dĭ-lîr'ē-əm trē'mənz)   
An acute, sometimes fatal episode of delirium that is usually caused by withdrawal or abstinence from alcohol following habitual excessive drinking or an episode of heavy alcohol consumption. It is characterized by trembling, sweating, acute anxiety, confusion, and hallucinations.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for d.t.



A detective; dick, tec: ''You DT?'' ''No.'' ''So what you care who piped Devona?'' (1920s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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