• synonyms


[ni-stag-muh s]
  1. a congenital or acquired persistent, rapid, involuntary, and oscillatory movement of the eyeball, usually from side to side.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for nystagmus

Historical Examples of nystagmus

  • On the right, nystagmus on fixation, fingers are counted at 5-6 feet.

    Schweigger on Squint

    C. Schweigger

  • These were nystagmus, paresis of facial muscles, laryngeal spasms, etc.

  • Nystagmus occasionally occurs in monocular fixation (with exclusion of the other eye).

  • Not to complicate the question, however, I have excluded all cases of nystagmus from the following investigation.

  • In Figure L 3a the nystagmus occurs only in males and descends through unaffected females.

British Dictionary definitions for nystagmus


  1. 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
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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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nystagmus in Medicine


  1. A rapid, involuntary oscillatory motion of the eyeball.
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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.