[ ni-stag-muh s ]
/ nɪˈstæg məs /


a congenital or acquired persistent, rapid, involuntary, and oscillatory movement of the eyeball, usually from side to side.

Nearby words

  1. nysa,
  2. nysaean nymphs,
  3. nyse,
  4. nystagmiform,
  5. nystagmograph,
  6. nystatin,
  7. nysten's law,
  8. nytril,
  9. nyungar,
  10. nyx

Origin of nystagmus

1815–25; < New Latin < Greek nystagmós nodding, derivative of nystázein to nod

Related formsnys·tag·mic, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nystagmus

British Dictionary definitions for nystagmus


/ (nɪˈstæɡməs) /


involuntary movement of the eye comprising a smooth drift followed by a flick back, occurring in several situations, for example after the body has been rotated or in disorders of the cerebellum

Word Origin for nystagmus

C19: New Latin, from Greek nustagmos

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 nystagmus



medical Latin, from Greek nystagmos "nodding, drowsiness," from nystazein "to nod, be sleepy," from PIE *sneud(h)- "to be sleepy."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for nystagmus


[ nĭ-stăgməs ]


A rapid, involuntary oscillatory motion of the eyeball.
Related formsnys•tagmic (-mĭk) null adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.