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[tawr-ti-kol-is] /ˌtɔr tɪˈkɒl ɪs/
noun, Pathology
a condition in which the neck is twisted and the head inclined to one side, caused by spasmodic contraction of the muscles of the neck.
Also called wryneck.
1805-15; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin tort(us) twisted (see tort) + -i- -i- + coll(um) neck + -is noun suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for torticollis


(pathol) an abnormal position of the head, usually with the neck bent to one side, caused congenitally by contracture of muscles, muscular spasm, etc
Derived Forms
torticollar, adjective
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, from Latin tortus twisted (from torquēre to twist) + collum neck
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 torticollis

1811, Modern Latin, from Latin tortus "crooked, twisted" (see tortuous) + collum "neck" (see collar (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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torticollis in Medicine

torticollis tor·ti·col·lis (tôr'tĭ-kŏl'ĭs)
A contracted state of the neck muscles producing an unnatural position of the head. Also called wryneck.

tor'ti·col'lar (-kŏl'ər) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for torticollis

abnormality in which the neck is in a twisted, bent position such that the head is pulled to one side and the chin points to the other. In infants the most common causes of torticollis include congenital shortening of muscles on one side of the neck, malposition of the fetus in the uterus, and trauma to the sternocleidomastoid muscle of the neck during birth. In adults, poor posture, tumours of the cervical spine, and inflammation of cervical lymph nodes may cause the condition. Treatment may include stretching of the neck muscles, applying heat to the affected area, traction of the cervical spine, or a neck brace.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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