[tuh-nez-muhs, -nes-]
noun Pathology.
a straining to urinate or defecate, without the ability to do so.

1520–30; < Medieval Latin, variant of Latin tēnesmos < Greek teinesmós, equivalent to teín(ein) to stretch + -esmos noun suffix

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World English Dictionary
tenesmus (tɪˈnɛzməs, -ˈnɛs-)
pathol an ineffective painful straining to empty the bowels in response to the sensation of a desire to defecate, without producing a significant quantity of faeces
[C16: from Medieval Latin, from Latin tēnesmos, from Greek teinesmos, from teinein to strain]

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tenesmus te·nes·mus (tə-něz'məs)
A painful spasm of the anal sphincter accompanied by an urgent desire to evacuate the bowel or bladder and involuntary straining that results in the passing of little or no matter.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Other signs attributable to the gastrointestinal tract may include tenesmus.
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