tabes dorsalis

[dawr-sal-is, -sey-lis]
noun Pathology.
syphilis of the spinal cord and its appendages, characterized by shooting pains and other sensory disturbances, and, in the later stages, by paralysis.
Also called locomotor ataxia.

1675–85; < Neo-Latin tābēs dorsālis literally, tabes of the back; see dorsal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tabes dorsalis
World English Dictionary
tabes dorsalis (dɔːˈsɑːlɪs)
Also called: locomotor ataxia a form of late syphilis that attacks the spinal cord causing degeneration of the nerve fibres, pains in the legs, paralysis of the leg muscles, acute abdominal pain, etc
[New Latin, literally: tabes of the back; see tabes, dorsal]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tabes dorsalis tabes dor·sa·lis (dôr-sā'lĭs, -sāl'ĭs)
A late form of syphilis resulting in hardening of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord and characterized by shooting pains, emaciation, loss of muscular coordination, and disturbances of sensation and digestion. Also called Duchenne's disease, locomotor ataxia, spinal atrophy.

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

tabes dorsalis

rare neurologic form of tertiary syphilis, involving sensory deficits, loss of neuromuscular coordination, and diminished reflexes. Symptoms of this form of neurosyphilis chiefly affect the legs and may not appear for more than 25 years after the initial infection. Untreated, tabes dorsalis usually makes unassisted walking impossible and severely debilitates the victim.

Learn more about tabes dorsalis with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The condition called tabes dorsalis includes syphilitic myelopathy and other symptoms of nerve damage.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature