Definition of erethism in English:



mass noun
  • 1Excessive sensitivity or rapid reaction to stimulation of a part of the body, especially the sexual organs.

    • ‘The intense excitement of the events had no doubt left my perceptive powers in a state of erethism.’
    • ‘Erethism traditionally is seen in the chronic phase of the toxicity.’
    • ‘The state we were in was a kind of mental eroticism, an erethism of the mind, akin to that inwardly directed state of arousal achieved by adepts of Tantric yoga.’
  • 2A state of abnormal mental excitement or irritation.

    ‘But these are not worthy concerns, they are mere symptoms of a moral erethism (mental over-excitement).’
    ‘What are we to understand by this erethism of the brain?’


Early 19th century from French éréthisme, from Greek erethismos, from erethizein ‘irritate’.