a straining to urinate or defecate, without the ability to do so.
Origin of tenesmus
1520–30; < Medieval Latin, variant of Latin tēnesmos < Greek teinesmós, equivalent to teín(ein) to stretch + -esmos noun suffix
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for tenesmus
Historical Examples of tenesmus
In diarrhœa there is no fever or tenesmus, or pain before the stools, as in dysentery.
The bowels are constipated—at times so much so as to amount to obstruction—or, again, diarrhoea and tenesmus may be present.
Blood mixed with mucus and tenesmus accompany inflammation low down.
The large watery stools and the absence of tenesmus mark the difference between diarrhoea and dysentery.
The tenesmus (cupiditas egerendi) is a more distressing, and certainly more distinctive, sign of dysentery.
British Dictionary definitions for tenesmus
Derived Formstenesmic, adjective
pathol an ineffective painful straining to empty the bowels in response to the sensation of a desire to defecate, without producing a significant quantity of faeces
Word Origin for tenesmus
C16: from Medieval Latin, from Latin tēnesmos, from Greek teinesmos, from teinein to strain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for tenesmus
1520s, from Latin tenesmos, from Greek tenesmos "straining," from teinein "to stretch" (see tenet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
A painful spasm of the anal sphincter accompanied by an urgent desire to evacuate the bowel or bladder and involuntary straining that results in the passing of little or no matter.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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