ergot


er·got

noun \ˈər-gət, -ˌgät\

Definition of ERGOT

1
:  the black or dark purple sclerotium of fungi (genus Claviceps) that occurs as a club-shaped body replacing the seed of a grass (as rye); also :  a fungus bearing ergots
2
:  a disease of rye and other cereals caused by an ergot fungus
3
a :  the dried sclerotia of an ergot fungus grown on rye and containing several alkaloids (as ergonovine and ergotamine)
b :  any of such alkaloids used medicinally for their contractile effect on smooth muscle (as of the uterus and or blood vessels)
er·got·ic \(ˌ)ər-ˈgä-tik\ adjective

Origin of ERGOT

French, literally, cock's spur
First Known Use: 1683

er·got

noun \ˈər-gət, -ˌgät\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of ERGOT

1
a : the black or dark purple sclerotium of fungi of the genus Claviceps that occurs as a club-shaped body which replaces the seed of various grasses (as rye) b : any fungus of the genus Claviceps
2
: a disease of rye and other cereals caused by fungi of the genus Claviceps and characterized by the presence of ergots in the seed heads—compare ergotism
3
a : the dried sclerotial bodies of an ergot fungus grown on rye and containing several ergot alkaloids b : ergot alkaloid
er·got·ic \(ˌ)ər-ˈgät-ik\ adjective

ergot

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Disease of cereal grasses, especially rye, caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea. An ear of rye infected with ergot exudes a sweet, yellowish mucus. Ergot is the source of drugs used to control postpartum hemorrhage and to treat migraine headaches. Lysergic acid, from which the powerful hallucinogen LSD is synthesized, comes from ergot. Taking an overdose of ergot-derived medications or eating flour milled from ergot-infected rye can cause ergotism (also called St. Anthony's Fire) in humans and livestock; symptoms may include convulsions, miscarriages in females, and dry gangrene, and may result in death.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: ergotamine
Previous Word in the Dictionary: ergosterol
All Words Near: ergot

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up ergot? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More