any of several diseases of the nervous system characterized by jerky, involuntary movements, chiefly of the face and extremities.
Also called St. Vitus's dance. such a disease occurring chiefly in children and associated with rheumatic fever.
Veterinary Pathology. a disease of the central nervous system caused by bacterial or organic degeneration, most common in dogs following canine distemper, characterized by irregular, jerky, involuntary muscular movements.
1806, from Mod.L. chorea Sancti Viti "St. Vitus dance" (originally a mass hysteria in 15c. Europe characterized by uncontrolled dancing; extension to the nerve disorder is from 1621), from L. chorea, from Gk. khoreia "dance."