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[roo-mat-ik] /rʊˈmæt ɪk/ Pathology
pertaining to or of the nature of rheumatism.
affected with or subject to rheumatism.
a person affected with rheumatism.
Origin of rheumatic
1350-1400; Middle English reumatik < Latin rheumaticus < Greek rheumatikós, equivalent to rheumat- (stem of rheûma; see rheum) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
rheumatically, adverb
antirheumatic, adjective, noun
nonrheumatic, adjective, noun
postrheumatic, adjective
prerheumatic, adjective
pseudorheumatic, adjective
unrheumatic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rheumatics
Historical Examples
  • Lame though of his legs with the rheumatics, and wake in his intellecs for all.

  • "It's a wonder you don't get rheumatics yourself," vouchsafed Charlotte.

    In Apple-Blossom Time

    Clara Louise Burnham
  • You may be a bit cramped by the morning, and perhaps you may get a twinge of rheumatics, but that'll be all.

    The Birthright Joseph Hocking
  • Sometimes also he was laid up with the rheumatics, and was unable to go afloat.

    Peter Trawl W. H. G. Kingston
  • She noticed how lame our granny was with the rheumatics, and told me to send up for broth.

    The Carbonels Charlotte M. Yonge
  • "Too bad the rheumatics bother so, gran'," said the child, consolingly.

    The Rival Campers Ashore

    Ruel Perley Smith
  • E 'ad the rheumatics something fearful, but 'e never grumbled.

    Mud and Khaki Vernon Bartlett
  • He is not afraid of rheumatics like the old people in the parish.

    The Curate in Charge Margaret Oliphant
  • He swears by his wife's judgment and his deepest concern is her 'rheumatics.'

    The Woodcraft Girls at Camp

    Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • You ain't subject to the whatdyecallems - the rheumatics, are you?

British Dictionary definitions for rheumatics


(functioning as sing) (informal) rheumatism


of, relating to, or afflicted with rheumatism
a person afflicted with rheumatism
Derived Forms
rheumatically, adverb
Word Origin
C14: ultimately from Greek rheumatikos, from rheuma a flow; see rheum
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 rheumatics



late 14c., from Old French reumatique (Modern French rhumatique), from Latin rheumaticus "troubled with rheum," from Greek rheumatikos, from rheuma "discharge from the body" (see rheum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rheumatics in Medicine

rheumatic rheu·mat·ic (rōō-māt'ĭk)
Relating to or characterized by rheumatism. n.
One who is affected by rheumatism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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