[roo-muh-tiz-uh m]

noun Pathology.

any disorder of the extremities or back, characterized by pain and stiffness.

Nearby words

  1. rheumatic fever,
  2. rheumatic heart disease,
  3. rheumatic pneumonia,
  4. rheumatics,
  5. rheumatid,
  6. rheumatism-root,
  7. rheumatoid,
  8. rheumatoid arthritis,
  9. rheumatoid factor,
  10. rheumatoid nodule

Origin of rheumatism

1595–1605; < Latin rheumatismus catarrh, rheum < Greek rheumatismós, equivalent to rheumat- (stem of rheûma; see rheum) + -ismos -ism

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

Examples from the Web for rheumatism

British Dictionary definitions for rheumatism



any painful disorder of joints, muscles, or connective tissueCompare arthritis, fibrositis

Word Origin for rheumatism

C17: from Latin rheumatismus catarrh, from Greek rheumatismos; see rheum

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 rheumatism



c.1600, from Late Latin rheumatismus, from Greek rheumatismos, from rheumatizein "suffer from the flux," from rheuma "a discharge from the body" (see rheum). "The meaning of a disease of the joints is first recorded in 1688, because rheumatism was thought to be caused by an excessive flow of rheum into a joint thereby stretching ligaments" [Barnhart].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for rheumatism




Any of several pathological conditions of the muscles, tendons, joints, bones, or nerves, characterized by discomfort and disability.
Rheumatoid arthritis.

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