Etymology
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tenesmus (n.)

"a straining" (to void the contents of the bowels), 1520s, medical Latin, from Greek tenesmos "a straining," from teinein "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch."

updated on April 17, 2017

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Definitions of tenesmus from WordNet

tenesmus (n.)
painful spasm of the anal sphincter along with an urgent desire to defecate without the significant production of feces; associated with irritable bowel syndrome;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.