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[ik-tuh s] /ˈɪk təs/
noun, plural ictuses, ictus.
Prosody. rhythmical or metrical stress.
  1. an epileptic seizure.
  2. a stroke, especially a cerebrovascular accident.
Origin of ictus
1700-10; < Latin: stroke, thrust, equivalent to īc(ere) to strike with a weapon + -tus suffix of v. action
Related forms
ictic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ictus
Historical Examples
  • The syllable which receives the ictus is called the thesis; the rest of the foot is called the arsis.

    New Latin Grammar Charles E. Bennett
  • The conclusion is that "ictus in conflict requires a pitch-accent."

    English Verse Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.
  • In so far as a mere trick of emphasis may serve to distinguish problems, this ictus indicates the sociological starting-point.

  • The points which seem to mark the ictus, or rhythmical accent, are found on the first syllable of each of these two feet.

    The Modes of Ancient Greek Music David Binning Monro
  • The metrical accent or ictus was marked in ancient notation by points placed over the accented syllable.

    The Modes of Ancient Greek Music David Binning Monro
  • Havena I missed the chance to turn out as clarissimus an ictus, as auld Grunwiggin himself?

British Dictionary definitions for ictus


noun (pl) -tuses, -tus
(prosody) metrical or rhythmic stress in verse feet, as contrasted with the stress accent on words
(med) a sudden attack or stroke
Derived Forms
ictal, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Latin icere to strike
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
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Word Origin and History for ictus

verse stress, 1752, from Latin ictus "a blow, stroke, thrust," of voices "a beat, impulse, stress," from icere "to strike, hit," related to iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ictus in Medicine

ictus ic·tus (ĭk'təs)
n. pl. ictus or ic·tus·es
A sudden attack, stroke, or seizure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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