1. a nervous disorder characterized by an uncontrollable impulse to dance; popularly attributed to bite of the southern European tarantula or wolf spider
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How To Use tarantism In A Sentence

  • Dr. Mead, above mentioned, gave a curious description of the symptoms of tarantism. Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery
  • tarantism," which was supposed to originate in the bite of the tarantula. Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine
  • Although the popular belief that tarantism results from a spider bite persists, it remains scientifically unsubstantiated.
  • Almost simultaneous with the dance of ` ` St. With, '' there appeared in Italy and Arabia a mania very similar in character which was called ` ` tarantism, '' which was supposed to originate in the bite of the tarantula. Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine
  • It is certain, however, that tarantism was very prevalent in earlier times. Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery
  • One of the oldest documents on the subject of tarantism, Ferdinando Ponzetti's Sertum Papale De Venensis (1362), had suggested that the victims of shade-dwelling spiders were hostages to the music of the tarantula's bite, to its 'cantum tempore'. Boing Boing: January 29, 2006 - February 4, 2006 Archives
  • In many families naming tarantism was taboo, reflecting this ambiguity between condemnation and belief.
  • The belief system behind tarantismo died out decades ago, but the three-day festival of Saints Peter and Paul at the end of June is still the best place to get a contemporary view of the customs once associated with it: especially compelling is the late-night phenomenon known as le ronde, improvised street performances of dance and music. Puglia's Fiery Pizzica
  • From the 17th century to the 20th there was apparently great communal tarantism, in which whole towns would suddenly give themselves over to wild dancing, and the musicians had a profitable time.
  • Indeed, Dr.H. Chomet, who diligently investigated the matter, never succeeded in finding a case of tarantism, nor was he able even to obtain a glimpse of one of these insects. Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery
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