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Definition of "tenesmus" [te•nes•mus]

  • A painfully urgent but ineffectual attempt to urinate or defecate. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "tenesmus" in a sentence
  • "The diseases which attacked them were in the form of dysenteries, tenesmus, lientery, and fluxes; but, in some cases, there were dropsies, with or without these complaints."
  • "In the first place, tenesmus, accompanied with pain, attacked many, but more especially children, and all who had not attained to puberty; and the most of these died."
  • "Herophon was seized with an acute fever; alvine discharges at first were scanty, and attended with tenesmus; but afterwards they were passed of a thin, bilious character, and frequent; there was no sleep; urine black, and thin."