1historical An influence or principle thought of as pervading the natural world and responsible for the phenomena of animal magnetism; animal magnetism regarded as arising from this.
The concept was propounded by D. G. Kieser in Germany, in 1822.
2historical, rare The (supposed) production of disease by miasma from the soil or by other local miasmatic sources; disease (supposedly) produced in this way, specifically malaria. Compare paludism .
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Encyclopedia Americana. From classical Latin tellūr-, tellūs earth + -ism.