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See more synonyms for ataxia on Thesaurus.com
noun Pathology.
  1. loss of coordination of the muscles, especially of the extremities.
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Also a·tax·y [uh-tak-see, a-tak-] /əˈtæk si, æˈtæk-/.

Origin of ataxia

1605–15; < New Latin < Greek: indiscipline, equivalent to a- a-6 + táx(is) -taxis + -ia -ia
Related formsa·tax·ic, adjectivepre·a·tax·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ataxia

turmoil, discord, tumult, disarray, pandemonium, lawlessness, disorder, anarchy, confusion, disharmony, chaos, shambles, dilemma, clutter, perplexity, jumble, plight, tangle, complication, awkwardness

Examples from the Web for ataxia

Historical Examples of ataxia

  • His name was Sabathier, and for fifteen years he had been stricken with ataxia.

    The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete

    Emile Zola

  • Ataxia had declared itself; he was able to walk now only leaning on his servant's arm.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • It seemed he was suffering from a form of ataxia, rapid in its progress and very painful.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • Does not get on feet when turned on side; ataxia well marked.

  • He had no ataxia or loss of sensibility in the upper half of the body.

    Fat and Blood

    S. Weir Mitchell

British Dictionary definitions for ataxia


ataxy (əˈtæksɪ)

  1. pathol lack of muscular coordination
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Derived Formsataxic or atactic, adjective

Word Origin for ataxia

C17: via New Latin from Greek: lack of coordination, from a- 1 + -taxia, from tassein to put in order
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

Word Origin and History for ataxia


also anglicized as ataxy, "irregularity of bodily functions," 1610s, "confusion, disorder," medical Latin, from Greek ataxia, from a-, privative prefix, + taxis "arrangement, order," from stem of tassein "to arrange" (see tactics). Pathological sense is attested from 1660s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ataxia in Medicine


  1. Loss of the ability to coordinate muscular movement.dyssynergia incoordination
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ataxia in Science


  1. Loss of muscular coordination as a result of damage to the central nervous system.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.