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[mass noun] Spasm of the muscles causing backward arching of the head, neck, and spine, as in severe tetanus, some kinds of meningitis, and strychnine poisoning.
- ‘Twenty four hours later she developed the signs and symptoms of tetanus, with increasing jaw stiffness, opisthotonos, and generalised limb spasticity.’
- ‘The four adult members of the family were conscious but had muscle stiffness with periodic convulsive movements of the limbs and opisthotonos.’
- ‘These include numbness and weakness of the lower extremities, opisthotonos and seizures.’
- ‘If the trunk is involved, shoulder shrugging, tortipelvis, opisthotonus, or scoliosis may occur.’
- ‘This is known as opisthotonus and is most common in children with the infection.’
Mid 17th century: via late Latin from Greek opisthotonos drawn backwards.
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