Definition of opisthotonos in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌäpəsˈTHädənəs/
(also opisthotonus)


Spasm of the muscles causing backward arching of the head, neck, and spine, as in severe tetanus, some kinds of meningitis, and strychnine poisoning.
Example sentences
  • The four adult members of the family were conscious but had muscle stiffness with periodic convulsive movements of the limbs and opisthotonos.
  • Twenty four hours later she developed the signs and symptoms of tetanus, with increasing jaw stiffness, opisthotonos, and generalised limb spasticity.
  • These include numbness and weakness of the lower extremities, opisthotonos and seizures.


Mid 17th century: via late Latin from Greek opisthotonos 'drawn backward'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: op·is·thot·o·nos

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