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[tet-n-ee] /ˈtɛt n i/
noun, Pathology.
a state marked by severe, intermittent tonic contractions and muscular pain, due to abnormal calcium metabolism.
Origin of tetany
From the New Latin word tetania, dating back to 1880-85. See tetanus, -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for tetany


(pathol) an abnormal increase in the excitability of nerves and muscles resulting in spasms of the arms and legs, caused by a deficiency of parathyroid secretion
Word Origin
C19: from French tétanie. See tetanus
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 tetany

1890, from French tétanie "intermitent tetanus," from Modern Latin tetania (see tetanus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tetany in Medicine

tetany tet·a·ny (tět'n-ē)
An abnormal condition characterized by periodic painful muscular spasms and tremors, caused by faulty calcium metabolism and associated with diminished function of the parathyroid glands. Also called intermittent cramp, intermittent tetanus.

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