Also found in: Medical.


Progressively wasting away.

[Latin tābēscēns, tābēscent-, present participle of tābēscere, to waste away, inchoative of tābēre, from tābēs, a wasting away.]

ta·bes′cence n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Pathology) progressively emaciating; wasting away
2. (Pathology) of, relating to, or having tabes
[C19: from Latin tābēscere, from tabes]
taˈbescence n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Our present moment, historically, is--if anything--all the more "tabescent" and mendacious than when Wolfe wrote almost a quarter century ago, and this offers both a challenge and an opportunity.
At this weak, pale, tabescent moment in the history of American literature, we need a battalion, a brigade, of Zolas to head out into this wild, bizarre, unpredictable, hog-stomping Baroque country of ours and reclaim it as literary property.