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trismus Syllabification: tris·mus
Pronunciation: /ˈtrizməs/

Definition of trismus in English:


Spasm of the jaw muscles, causing the mouth to remain tightly closed, typically as a symptom of tetanus. Also called lockjaw.
Example sentences
  • He developed jaw muscle spasm or trismus (from the word ‘grinding’ in Greek), difficulty swallowing, and stiffness or pain in the neck, shoulder and back muscles.
  • Regional lymphadenopathy is common, and cellulitis and trismus (inability to open the mouth fully) can occur.
  • The presenting symptoms include fever, throat pain, and trismus.


Late 17th century: from modern Latin, from Greek trismos 'a scream, grinding'.

Definition of trismus in:
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