botulism

noun bot·u·lism \ ˈbä-chə-ˌli-zəm \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of botulism

: acute food poisoning that is caused by botulinum toxin produced in food by a bacterial clostridium (Clostridium botulinum) and is characterized by muscle weakness and paralysis, disturbances of vision, swallowing, and speech, and a high mortality rate

Recent Examples of botulism from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'botulism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of botulism

1896


BOTULISM Defined for English Language Learners

botulism

noun

Definition of botulism for English Language Learners

  • : a serious illness that is caused by eating food that has not been preserved correctly and that is filled with bacteria


Medical Dictionary

botulism

noun bot·u·lism \ ˈbäch-ə-ˌliz-əm \

medical Definition of botulism

: acute food poisoning caused by botulinum toxin produced in food by a bacterium of the genus Clostridium (C. botulinum) and characterized by muscle weakness and paralysis, disturbances of vision, swallowing, and speech, and a high mortality rate — see botulinum toxin, limberneck


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

sticky or viscid

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!