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Aug 30, 2006
This week's theme
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This week's words
pollicitation
nudiustertian
dandle
phatic
tarantism

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

tarantism

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

tarantism (TAR-uhn-tiz-uhm) noun

An uncontrollable urge to dance.

[After Taranto, a town in southern Italy where this phenomenon was experienced during the 15-17th centuries. It's not clear whether tarantism was the symptom of a spider's bite or its cure, or it may have been just a pretext to dodge a prohibition against dancing. The names of the dance tarantella and the spider tarantula are both derived from the same place.]

See more usage examples of tarantism in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

"The director is in a wild delirium, spinning in circles as though stricken with tarantism, his whirring camera held at arm's length, panning, tilting, arcing and oscillating and making other moves that have no name."
Caelum Vatnsdal; Kino Delirium: The Films of Guy Maddin; Arbeiter Ring Publishing; 2000.

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We find comfort among those who agree with us, growth among those who don't. -Frank A. Clark, writer (1911- )

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