One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The loss of full control of bodily movements.
- ‘She then began to complain of decreased appetite, weight loss, urinary incontinence, and ataxia.’
- ‘Over time, diverse clinical symptoms develop, among them peripheral neuropathies, ataxia, loss of position sense, and dementia.’
- ‘Other episodic neurological disorders include periodic paralysis, hemiplegic migraine, and episodic ataxia.’
- ‘The most common adverse effects are somnolence, dizziness, ataxia, fatigue and nystagmus.’
- ‘Other causes of apparent clumsiness include visual impairment, orthopedic disorders, mild cerebral palsy, hereditary ataxia, and congenital chorea.’
Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek, from a- ‘without’ + taxis ‘order’. The original sense was ‘irregularity, disorder’, later (in medical use) denoting irregularity of function or symptoms.
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