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A condition of elevated body temperature.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the accumulation of excess heat in the body of humans or animals, with an elevation of body temperature, caused by external factors that hinder the transfer of heat to the external environment or increase heat intake from outside the body. Hyperthermia arises when there is maximum strain on the physiological mechanisms of thermoregulation (perspiration, dilation of cutaneous blood vessels, and so forth); if the causes are not removed, it progresses, ending with heat stroke at a body temperature of approximately 41°-42° C.

Hyperthermia is accompanied by an increase of metabolism and qualitative disturbances of it, loss of water and salts, and disruption of blood circulation and the delivery of oxygen to the brain, causing agitation and sometimes convulsions and fainting. High temperature during hyperthermia is tolerated less readily than it is in other feverish diseases. The development of hyperthermia is promoted by an increase in heat production (for example, during muscular work), disruption of thermoregulation mechanisms (with narcosis, drunkenness, and certain diseases), or age-related failure of these mechanisms (in very young children). Artificial hyperthermia is used in treating certain nervous and slowly progressing chronic diseases.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Is that alleged failure fully to recognise economic reality, a case of "calenture", politically speaking, "the cruel sea" being replaced in their panglossian minds by the "green fields" of greater economic prosperity?
Calenture. An unconquerable desire of returning to one's native country, frequent in long voyages, in which the patients become so insane as to throw themselves into the sea, mistaking it for green fields or meadows.
Wordsworth images his condition by means of the calenture, defined by the OLD as "a disease incident to sailors within the tropics, characterized by delirium in which, it is said, they fancy the water to be green fields and desire to leap into it." It is said: the skepticism implicit in the dictionary entry reminds us that illnesses and symptoms are often socially constructed, and that, as the medical condition of nostalgia (literally, home-sickness) originated in the forced emigration of young Swiss men from a homeland unable to support them, so too the calenture was structured by the experience of countless sailors pressed into a service that removed them far from all that they valued and loved.
De Quincey recalled Coleridge planning a poem "on delirium, confounding its own dream-scenery with external things, and connected with the imagery of high latitudes": "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere" is that poem, surely, its portrayal of delirium informed by Coleridge's related interest in the affects of the "calenture." (12) "The Rime" was one of a number of studies in the psychology of superstitious projection that Wordsworth and Coleridge composed in early 1798, and we must approach it as we approach "The Thorn," reading past the distortions of the narrating consciousness to whatever can be inferred of original events.