a mania characterized by an uncontrollable impulse to dance, especially as prevalent in southern Italy from the 15th to the 17th century, popularly attributed to the bite of the tarantula.
- tar·ant·ist, noun
- Compare tarantula (def. 3).
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How to use tarantism in a sentence
The tarantism so common in Italy from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century is another example of epidemic hysteria.Essays In Pastoral Medicine | Austin Malley
What could account so entirely for his ways and actions as that strange poisoning which produces the state they call tarantism?A Mortal Antipathy | Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
This form of "possession," then, passed out of the supernatural domain, and became known as "tarantism."History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom | Andrew Dickson White
One of the best known of these diseases is 'tarantism,' or the frenzy produced by the bite of the Tarantula, in Italy.Shakespeare and Music | Edward W. Naylor
At the close of the fifteenth century tarantism had spread beyond the borders of Apulia.
British Dictionary definitions for tarantism
a nervous disorder marked by uncontrollable bodily movement, widespread in S Italy during the 15th to 17th centuries: popularly thought to be caused by the bite of a tarantula
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