• synonyms


[prahy-uh-piz-uh m]
  1. Pathology. continuous, usually nonsexual erection of the penis, especially due to disease.
  2. prurient behavior or display.
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Origin of priapism

First recorded in 1580–90; Priap(us) + -ism
Related formspri·a·pis·mic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for priapism

Historical Examples

  • Priapism was a common symptom; but, as is seen from the cases quoted, was rarely due to any gross direct laceration of the cord.

    Surgical Experiences in South Africa, 1899-1900

    George Henry Makins

British Dictionary definitions for priapism


  1. pathol prolonged painful erection of the penis, caused by neurological disorders, obstruction of the penile blood vessels, etc
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Word Origin

C17: from Late Latin priāpismus, ultimately from Greek Priapus
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 priapism


"persistent erection of the penis," 1620s, from Late Latin priapismus, from Greek priapismos, from priapizein, from Priapos (see priapic + -ism).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

priapism in Medicine


  1. Persistent, usually painful erection of the penis, especially as a consequence of disease and not related to sexual arousal.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.