Definition of tabes dorsalis in English:

tabes dorsalis

Pronunciation /ˈtābēz dôrˈsalis/ /ˈteɪbiz dɔrˈsælɪs/


  • Loss of coordination of movement, especially as a result of syphilitic infection of the spinal cord.

    Also called locomotor ataxia

    ‘Diabetes mellitus, tabes dorsalis, and syringomyelia are common causes.’
    • ‘The clinical presentation has shifted from general paresis and tabes dorsalis to meningovascular and atypical forms.’
    • ‘Classically, there are three recognized types of CNS syphilis: meningovascular, parenchymatous, and tabes dorsalis.’
    • ‘In 1868, Charcot identified neuropathic joints with an unusual pattern of bone destruction in patients with tabes dorsalis.’


Modern Latin, literally ‘wasting of the back’.