One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A continual or recurrent inclination to evacuate the bowels, caused by disorder of the rectum or other illness.
- ‘Acute bacillary dysentery is characterized accompanied by fever, abdominal cramps and tenesmus.’
- ‘Patients may have nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tenesmus and low-grade fever.’
- ‘Some other symptoms include fever, fatigue, dehydration, stomach cramps, and tenesmus.’
- ‘We did not observe unwanted side effects, such as tenesmus.’
- ‘Symptoms typically include rectal discomfort, tenesmus, and constipation.’
Early 16th century: via medieval Latin from Greek teinesmos ‘straining’, from teinein ‘stretch, strain’.
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