Rheúmatism. n.s. [ῥευματισμὸς; rheumatisme, Fr. rheumatismus, Lat.] A painful distemper supposed to proceed from acrid humours.
Rheumatism is a distemper affecting chiefly the membrana communis musculorum, which it makes rigid and unfit for motion; and it seems to be occasioned almost by the same causes, as the mucilaginous glands in the joints are rendered stiff and gritty in the gout. Quincy.
The throtling quinsey 'tis my star appoints,
And rheumatisms I send to rack the joints. Dryden.