Dictionary.com

tenesmus

[ tuh-nez-muhs, -nes- ]
/ təˈnɛz məs, -ˈnɛs- /
Save This Word!

noun Pathology.
a straining to urinate or defecate, without the ability to do so.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of tenesmus

1520–30; <Medieval Latin, variant of Latin tēnesmos<Greek teinesmós, equivalent to teín(ein) to stretch + -esmos noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tenesmus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tenesmus

tenesmus
/ (tɪˈnɛzməs, -ˈnɛs-) /

noun
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

Derived forms of tenesmus

tenesmic, adjective

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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
FEEDBACK