tetanus (n.) Look up tetanus at Dictionary.com
infectious disease, late 14c., from Latin tetanus "tetanus," from Greek tetanos "tetanus, muscular spasm," literally "a stretching, tension," from teinein "to stretch" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"); "so called because the disease is characterized by violent spasms and stiffness of the muscles" [Barnhart]. Related: Tetanoid (adj.).