noun Pathology.

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

Nearby words

  1. tetanus toxin,
  2. tetanus toxoid,
  3. tetanus toxoids vaccine,
  4. tetanus vaccine,
  5. tetanus-diphtheria toxoids vaccine,
  6. tetartanopsia,
  7. tetartohedral,
  8. tetched,
  9. tetchy,
  10. tete

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



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

Word Origin and History for tetany



1890, from French tétanie "intermitent tetanus," from Modern Latin tetania (see tetanus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for tetany




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.