• synonyms


[ kuh-ree-uh, kaw-, koh- ]
/ kəˈri ə, kɔ-, koʊ- /

noun Pathology.

any of several diseases of the nervous system characterized by jerky, involuntary movements, chiefly of the face and extremities.
Also called St. Vitus's dance. such a disease occurring chiefly in children and associated with rheumatic fever.
Veterinary Pathology. a disease of the central nervous system caused by bacterial or organic degeneration, most common in dogs following canine distemper, characterized by irregular, jerky, involuntary muscular movements.

Nearby words

chordoskeleton, chordotomy, chordotonal, chordwise, chore, chorea, choreatic, choregus, choreic abasia, choreic movement, choreiform

Origin of chorea

1680–90; < Greek choreía a dance, equivalent to chor(ós) chorus + -eia -y3
Related formscho·re·al, cho·re·ic, cho·re·at·ic [kawr-ee-at-ik, kohr-] /ˌkɔr iˈæt ɪk, ˌkoʊr-/, adjectivecho·re·oid [kawr-ee-oid, kohr-] /ˈkɔr iˌɔɪd, ˈkoʊr-/, adjective
Can be confusedchorea Korea Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chorea

British Dictionary definitions for chorea


/ (kɒˈrɪə) /


a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by uncontrollable irregular brief jerky movementsSee Huntington's disease, Sydenham's chorea
Derived Formschoreal or choreic, adjective

Word Origin for chorea

C19: from New Latin, from Latin: dance, from Greek khoreia, from khoros dance; see chorus
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 chorea



1806, from Modern Latin chorea Sancti Viti "St. Vitus dance" (originally a mass hysteria in 15c. Europe characterized by uncontrolled dancing); from Latin chorea "a dance," from Greek khoreia "dance" (see chorus). Extension to the nerve disorder is from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for chorea


[ kô-rēə, kə- ]


Irregular, spasmodic, involuntary movements of the limbs or facial muscles.
Related formscho•real null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.