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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rheumatics
Historical Examples
  • When he was down with rheumatics in the early spring, the place had open doors to Davey.

    The Pioneers Katharine Susannah Prichard
  • Sometimes also he was laid up with the rheumatics, and was unable to go afloat.

    Peter Trawl W. H. G. Kingston
  • "Well, I'm not a nuisance yet with rheumatics and bellyache," observed Lady Crowborough.

    Thorley Weir E. F. (Edward Frederic) Benson
  • She noticed how lame our granny was with the rheumatics, and told me to send up for broth.

    The Carbonels Charlotte M. Yonge
  • I allus has it, and rheumatics tu—just here, cruel, your reverent.

    Furze the Cruel John Trevena
  • "Too bad the rheumatics bother so, gran'," said the child, consolingly.

    The Rival Campers Ashore Ruel Perley Smith
  • "Nowt but the rheumatics has ever come out o' my cup," said Jan gravely.

    Barbara Lynn Emily J. Jenkinson
  • His boy has got the rheumatics, but I guess tain't nothin' permanent.

    Harbor Jim of Newfoundland Alden Eugene Bartlett
  • When I was young girls didn't mind a little bit of 'ard work—but, law bless yer, you don't care abaht my rheumatics, do yer?'

    Liza of Lambeth W. Somerset Maugham
  • But when rheumatics gets into the bones there's no getting it out again.'

    Averil Rosa Nouchette Carey
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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