rheumatism rheu·ma·tism (rōō'mə-tĭz'əm)
Any of several pathological conditions of the muscles, tendons, joints, bones, or nerves, characterized by discomfort and disability.
any of several disorders that have in common inflammation of the connective tissues, especially the muscles, joints, and associated structures. The most common symptoms are pain and stiffness. Specific diseases that are alternatively called rheumatism include rheumatoid arthritis (q.v.); rheumatic fever (q.v.); septic arthritis (q.v.) that accompanies such diseases as gonorrhea, tuberculosis, or mycotic diseases (caused by fungus); and osteoarthritis (q.v.).
Learn more about rheumatism with a free trial on Britannica.com.