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risus sardonicus

/ˈriːsəs sɑːˈdɒnɪkəs/
(pathol) fixed contraction of the facial muscles resulting in a peculiar distorted grin, caused esp by tetanus Also called trismus cynicus (ˈtrɪzməs ˈsɪnɪkəs)
Word Origin
C17: New Latin, literally: sardonic laugh
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Examples from the Web for risus sardonicus
Historical Examples
  • There is no justification for regarding the risus sardonicus of the ancients as a tic.

  • The invariable symptom of a fatal attack is the risus sardonicus.

    The Poet at the Breakfast Table Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • The angles of the mouth may be retracted, producing a grinning expression known as the risus sardonicus.

    Manual of Surgery Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles

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