cre·​tin·​ism | \ ˈkrē-tᵊn-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce cretinism (audio) \

Definition of cretinism

: a usually congenital condition marked by physical stunting and intellectual disability and caused by severe hypothyroidism

Examples of cretinism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even Switzerland, like Bolivia, Nepal and other mountainous countries, once had high rates of goiters and cretinism caused by iodine deficiency, as did low-lying flood-prone areas far from the ocean in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Donald G. Mcneil Jr., New York Times, "Should We Be Buying Iodized Salt?," 21 July 2017 In 1997, according to Unicef, almost a fifth of its population had goiters — swollen thyroid glands in the neck that indicate serious deficiency, which can also cause dwarfism and cretinism. Donald G. Mcneil Jr., New York Times, "How a Tsunami in Japan Endangered Children in Cambodia," 15 May 2017

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

First Known Use of cretinism

1791, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of cretinism was in 1791

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Cite this Entry

“Cretinism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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cre·​tin·​ism | \ -ᵊn-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce cretinism (audio) \

Medical Definition of cretinism

: a usually congenital condition marked by physical stunting and intellectual disability and caused by severe thyroid deficiency

called also infantile myxedema

More from Merriam-Webster on cretinism

Britannica English: Translation of cretinism for Arabic Speakers

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