Definition of ictus in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈiktəs/

noun (plural same or ictuses)

1 Prosody A rhythmical or metrical stress.
Example sentences
  • His great authority, Cresollius, disapproved of orators using ‘ictus or musicall cadence of the fingers’ in free prose, ‘though it may be tollerable for the setting of the intervalls of restrained numbers.’
  • He also adopted the percussion stop, with which a tiny hammer strikes the reed to give it an initial ictus and so avoid the characteristic rather mushy beginning of the sound.
2 Medicine A stroke or seizure; a fit.
Example sentences
  • More typically ictal symptoms of depression are followed by alteration of consciousness as the ictus evolves from a simple to a complex partial seizure.
  • The method involves the application of a cold thermal material to the back of the person during ictus (seizure).


Early 18th century (denoting the beat of the pulse): from Latin, literally 'blow'.

Words that rhyme with ictus

Benedictus, rictus

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ic·tus

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