• synonyms


[er-uh-thiz-uh m]
noun Physiology.
  1. an unusual or excessive degree of irritability or stimulation in an organ or tissue.
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Origin of erethism

1790–1800; < French éréthisme < Greek erethismós irritation, equivalent to ereth(ízein) to irritate + -ismos -ism
Related formser·e·this·mic, er·e·this·tic [er-uh-this-tik] /ˌɛr əˈθɪs tɪk/, er·e·thit·ic [er-uh-thit-ik] /ˌɛr əˈθɪt ɪk/, e·reth·ic [uh-reth-ik, e-reth-] /əˈrɛθ ɪk, ɛˈrɛθ-/, adjectivehy·per·er·e·thism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for erethism

Historical Examples of erethism

British Dictionary definitions for erethism


  1. physiol an abnormally high degree of irritability or sensitivity in any part of the body
  2. psychiatry
    1. a personality disorder resulting from mercury poisoning
    2. an abnormal tendency to become aroused quickly, esp sexually, as the result of a verbal or psychic stimulus
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Derived Formserethismic, erethistic or erethitic, adjective

Word Origin for erethism

C18: from French éréthisme, from Greek erethismos irritation, from erethizein to excite, irritate
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

erethism in Medicine


  1. Abnormal irritability or sensitivity of an organ or body part to stimulation.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.