follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

tarantism

[tar-uh n-tiz-uh m] /ˈtær ənˌtɪz əm/
noun
1.
a mania characterized by an uncontrollable impulse to dance, especially as prevalent in southern Italy from the 15th to the 17th century, popularly attributed to the bite of the tarantula.
Also, tarentism.
Compare tarantula (def 3).
Origin
1630-1640
1630-40; < Neo-Latin tarantismus. See Taranto, -ism
Related forms
tarantist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for tarantism

tarantism

/ˈtærənˌtɪzəm/
noun
1.
a nervous disorder marked by uncontrollable bodily movement, widespread in S Italy during the 15th to 17th centuries: popularly thought to be caused by the bite of a tarantula
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin tarantismus, from Taranto; see tarantula
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tarantism

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tarantism

11
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for tarantism