Definition of St Vitus's dance in English:

Share this entry

St Vitus's dance

Pronunciation: /ˈvʌɪtəsɪz/


Old-fashioned term for Sydenham's chorea.
Example sentences
  • Rheumatic fever is often associated with St. Vitus's Dance. Seven out of ten victims are girls. They are usually "nervous," "high-strung" children to begin with. The disease usually burns itself out in two, three months.
  • The most manifest symptom of St. Vitus's dance is continued involuntary action of the voluntary muscles, to a greater or lesser degree - the extent of the muscles affected, and the intensity of their affection, varying with the severity of the disease.


So named because a visit to St Vitus's shrine was believed to alleviate the disease.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: St Vitus's dance

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.