• synonyms


noun Pathology.
  1. pain and tenderness at some points of the sciatic nerve, usually caused by a prolapsed intervertebral disk; sciatic neuralgia.
  2. any painful disorder extending from the hip down the back of the thigh and surrounding area.
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Origin of sciatica

1400–50; < Medieval Latin, noun use of feminine of sciaticus sciatic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sciatica

Historical Examples of sciatica

  • It was known that he complained of sciatica in the leg and thigh.

    The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete

    Duc de Saint-Simon

  • Good in all cases of chronic rheumatism, neuralgia, sciatica, and the like.

  • He was leaning upon a cane, getting ease of the sciatica which plagued him.

  • I read up in my medical book, Jim, later, when the sciatica took me.

    A Man to His Mate

    J. Allan Dunn

  • Is not this much better, now, than lying wet, and getting the sciatica?

    Thomas Otway

    Thomas Otway

British Dictionary definitions for sciatica


  1. a form of neuralgia characterized by intense pain and tenderness along the course of the body's longest nerve (sciatic nerve), extending from the back of the thigh down to the calf of the leg
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Word Origin for sciatica

C15: from Late Latin sciatica; see sciatic
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 sciatica


late 14c., from Medieval Latin sciatica, in sciatica passio "sciatic disease," fem. of sciaticus "sciatic," corruption of Latin ischiadicus "of pain in the hip," from Greek iskhiadikos, from iskhias (genitive iskhiados) "pain in the hips," from iskhion "hip joint."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sciatica in Medicine


  1. Pain along the sciatic nerve that radiates from the lower back to the buttocks and back of the thigh and is usually caused by a herniated disk of the lumbar region of the spine.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

sciatica in Culture



Chronic pain in the hip and upper leg caused by irritation of a large nerve — the sciatic nerve — that runs through the pelvis and down the back of the thigh.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.