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From Greek κνησμός (knismós, itching) + -esis.


knismesis (uncountable)

  1. Light tickling often accompanied by an itching sensation.
    • 1897 G. Stanley Hall & Arthur Alliń, "The Psychology of Tickling, Laughing, and the Comic," The American Journal of Psychology, 9(1) (Oct., 1897), pp. 1-41
      Pending a better nomenclature we suggest for the former the term knismesis and for the latter the term gargalesis, with the adjectives knismic and gargalic, hyperknismesis and hyper-gargalesis for excess, etc.
    • 1999 Christine R. Harris & Nicholas Christenfeld, "Can a machine tickle?," Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,6(3) pp. 504-510
      One can readily elicit knismesis in oneself (this is easily demonstrated by dragging a fingernail lightly over one’s skin). However, one cannot produce gargalesis in oneself; the present investigation focuses on this peculiar fact.

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