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[triz-muh s, tris-] /ˈtrɪz məs, ˈtrɪs-/
noun, plural trismuses. Pathology.
a spasm of the jaw muscles that makes it difficult to open the mouth.
Origin of trismus
1685-95; < New Latin < Greek trismós a grinding
Related forms
trismic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for trismus


(pathol) the state or condition of being unable to open the mouth because of sustained contractions of the jaw muscles, caused by a form of tetanus Nontechnical name lockjaw
Derived Forms
trismic, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin, from Greek trismos a grinding
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for trismus

1690s, Modern Latin, from Greek trismos "a scream; a grinding, rasping," akin to trizein "to chirp, gnash."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trismus in Medicine

trismus tris·mus (trĭz'məs)
A firm closing of the jaw due to tonic spasm of the muscles of mastication from disease of the motor branch of the trigeminal nerve. It is usually associated with general tetanus. Also called lockjaw.

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