1. <physiology> Of or pertaining to tetanus; having the character of tetanus; as, a tetanic state; tetanic contraction. "This condition of muscle, this fusion of a number of simple spasms into an apparently smooth, continuous effort, is known as tetanus, or tetanic contraction." (Foster)

2. <medicine> Producing, or tending to produce, tetanus, or tonic contraction of the muscles; as, a tetanic remedy. See Tetanic.

Origin: Cf. L. Tetanicus suffering from tetanus, Gr, F. Tetanique.

<medicine> A substance (notably nux vomica, strychnine, and brucine) which, either as a remedy or a poison, acts primarily on the spinal cord, and which, when taken in comparatively large quantity, produces tetanic spasms or convulsions.

(01 Mar 1998)