A form of muscle spasm seen especially in tetany, in which the wrist is bent and the fingers are extended and adducted into a conelike shape, and the thumb is adducted towards the fingers or into the palm.
1920s; earliest use found in Carl Hamilton Browning (b. 1881). From French main d'accoucheur, lit. ‘obstetrician's hand’ from main hand + d' + accoucheur.