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View synonyms for tetanus

tetanus

[ tet-n-uhs ]

noun

  1. Pathology. an infectious, often fatal disease caused by a specific bacterium that enters the body through wounds and characterized by respiratory paralysis and tonic spasms and rigidity of the voluntary muscles, especially those of the neck and lower jaw. Compare lockjaw.
  2. Also called tetanus bacillus. Bacteriology. the bacterium, Clostridium tetani, causing this disease.
  3. Physiology. a state of sustained contraction of a muscle during which the muscle does not relax to its initial length or tension, induced by a rapid succession of stimuli.


tetanus

/ ˈtɛtənəs /

noun

  1. Also calledlockjaw an acute infectious disease in which sustained muscular spasm, contraction, and convulsion are caused by the release of exotoxins from the bacterium, Clostridium tetani : infection usually occurs through a contaminated wound
  2. physiol any tense contraction of a muscle, esp when produced by electric shocks


tetanus

/ tĕtn-əs /

  1. An acute, often fatal infectious disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which usually enters the body through a wound and produces a toxin that affects nerve conduction. Tetanus is characterized by painful, spasmodic contractions of voluntary muscles, especially of the jaw.


tetanus

  1. An acute and infectious disease caused by the toxin produced by a kind of bacteria that enters the body through cuts or wounds; also called lockjaw. In tetanus, the muscles of the body, particularly the muscles of the jaw, contract in painful spasms. Tetanus is deadly but can be prevented through immunization (tetanus shots).


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Derived Forms

  • ˈtetanal, adjective
  • ˈtetaˌnoid, adjective
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Other Words From

  • teta·nal adjective
  • teta·noid adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of tetanus1

1350–1400; < Latin < Greek tétanos spasm (of muscles), tetanus; replacing Middle English tetane < Latin, as above
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Word History and Origins

Origin of tetanus1

C16: via Latin from Greek tetanos, from tetanos taut, from teinein to stretch
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Example Sentences

They include polio, smallpox, measles, tetanus, and rubella among others.

It has a history of successful, large-scale immunization programs for diseases like polio and tetanus, first-rate scientists, highly trained doctors and powerful networks of community health workers.

From Time

Since the 1980s, millions of pregnant women have been administered vaccines to help protect their unborn in the womb from tetanus, and, more recently, from pertussis and flu.

From Ozy

For some other diseases, vaccines are known to prompt a more protective immune response than the actual infection, including HPV and tetanus.

Gunner was treated for a small wound to the stomach but is otherwise fine, while Wilbanks received a tetanus shot and will keep his pet on a leash and farther away from the water from now on.

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tetanizetetanus toxoid