Etymology
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tetanus (n.)

infectious disease, late 14c., from Latin tetanus "tetanus," from Greek tetanos "tetanus, muscular spasm," literally "a stretching, tension," from teinein "to stretch" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"); "so called because the disease is characterized by violent spasms and stiffness of the muscles" [Barnhart]. Related: Tetanoid (adj.).

updated on April 17, 2017

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Definitions of tetanus from WordNet

tetanus (n.)
an acute and serious infection of the central nervous system caused by bacterial infection of open wounds; spasms of the jaw and laryngeal muscles may occur during the late stages;
Synonyms: lockjaw
tetanus (n.)
a sustained muscular contraction resulting from a rapid series of nerve impulses;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.