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tarantism

or tar·ent·ism

[ tar-uhn-tiz-uhm ]
/ ˈtær ənˌtɪz əm /
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noun

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.

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Origin of tarantism

From the New Latin word tarantismus, dating back to 1630–40. See Taranto, -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM tarantism

tar·ant·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for tarantism

tarantism
/ (ˈtærənˌtɪzəm) /

noun

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

Word Origin for tarantism

C17: from New Latin tarantismus, from Taranto; see 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
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