- an unusual or excessive degree of irritability or stimulation in an organ or tissue.
Origin of erethism
1790–1800; < French éréthisme < Greek erethismós irritation, equivalent to ereth(ízein) to irritate + -ismos -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for erethism
The intense excitement of the events had no doubt left my perceptive powers in a state of erethism.The War of the Worlds
H. G. Wells
Normally, there appears to be no erethism of the sexual organs during the process of love-making.
At the same time they consider that, while erethism is less, sexuality is greater than in men.Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 (of 6)
If this flow is continued, without proper periods of repose, a state of erethism and insomnia is produced.Sleep and Its Derangements
William A. Hammond
Erethism, er′e-thizm, n. excitement or stimulation of any organ.
- physiol an abnormally high degree of irritability or sensitivity in any part of the body
- a personality disorder resulting from mercury poisoning
- an abnormal tendency to become aroused quickly, esp sexually, as the result of a verbal or psychic stimulus
C18: from French éréthisme, from Greek erethismos irritation, from erethizein to excite, irritate
- Abnormal irritability or sensitivity of an organ or body part to stimulation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.