formication

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Circa 1700, from Latin formica (ant) + -tion.

Noun[edit]

formication (countable and uncountable, plural formications)

  1. An abnormal skin sensation similar to that of insects crawling over or within the skin; a tactile hallucination involving such a sensation. A common side-effect of substance abuse, it can also be experienced with high fever, menopause, skin cancer, diabetic neuropathy, or herpes zoster.
    • 1853, The Scottish Review
      Soon the formications and muscular debility returned, not alone, but accompanied with painful cramps and startlings in the feet and calves of the legs.

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Further reading[edit]