[ tet-n-ee ]
/ ˈtɛt n i /

noun Pathology.

a state marked by severe, intermittent tonic contractions and muscular pain, due to abnormal calcium metabolism.

Origin of tetany

From the New Latin word tetania, dating back to 1880–85. See tetanus, -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tetany

British Dictionary definitions for tetany


/ (ˈtɛtənɪ) /


pathol an abnormal increase in the excitability of nerves and muscles resulting in spasms of the arms and legs, caused by a deficiency of parathyroid secretion

Word Origin for tetany

C19: from French tétanie. See tetanus
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

Medicine definitions for tetany


[ tĕtn-ē ]


An abnormal condition characterized by periodic painful muscular spasms and tremors, caused by faulty calcium metabolism and associated with diminished function of the parathyroid glands.intermittent cramp intermittent tetanus

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.