delirium tremens

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Latin dēlīrium tremēns (literally trembling madness), coined by Thomas Sutton in 1813.[1]


delirium tremens (uncountable)

  1. (pathology) A psychosis of chronic alcoholism, usually due to alcohol withdrawal, which can be fatal. Symptoms include sweating, tremors, terrifying hallucinations, insomnia, restlessness, disorientation and anxiety.
    Synonyms: DT, (obsolete) phrenitis


Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas Sutton (1813) Tracts on Delirium Tremens, &c., London, page 3: “The name, therefore, which I have adopted, though possibly not the most appropriate, will serve to convey a notion of an essential symptom of the disease, and will be sufficiently explicit for my present purpose.”