• synonyms


[ik-tuh s]
noun, plural ic·tus·es, ic·tus.
  1. Prosody. rhythmical or metrical stress.
  2. Pathology.
    1. an epileptic seizure.
    2. a stroke, especially a cerebrovascular accident.
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Origin of ictus

1700–10; < Latin: stroke, thrust, equivalent to īc(ere) to strike with a weapon + -tus suffix of v. action
Related formsic·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ictus

Historical Examples of ictus

  • The conclusion is that "ictus in conflict requires a pitch-accent."

    English Verse

    Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.

  • Havena I missed the chance to turn out as clarissimus an ictus, as auld Grunwiggin himself?

  • The points which seem to mark the ictus, or rhythmical accent, are found on the first syllable of each of these two feet.

  • The metrical accent or ictus was marked in ancient notation by points placed over the accented syllable.

  • In so far as a mere trick of emphasis may serve to distinguish problems, this ictus indicates the sociological starting-point.

British Dictionary definitions for ictus


noun plural -tuses or -tus
  1. prosody metrical or rhythmic stress in verse feet, as contrasted with the stress accent on words
  2. med a sudden attack or stroke
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Derived Formsictal, adjective

Word Origin for ictus

C18: from Latin icere to strike
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 ictus


verse stress, 1752, from Latin ictus "a blow, stroke, thrust," of voices "a beat, impulse, stress," from icere "to strike, hit," related to iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ictus in Medicine


n. pl. ictus
  1. A sudden attack, stroke, or seizure.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.