cretinism

noun

cre·​tin·​ism ˈkrē-tᵊn-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce cretinism (audio)
: a usually congenital condition marked by physical stunting and intellectual disability and caused by severe hypothyroidism

Example Sentences

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, 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, 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.

Word History

First Known Use

1791, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cretinism was in 1791

Dictionary Entries Near cretinism

Cite this Entry

“Cretinism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cretinism. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

cretinism

noun
cre·​tin·​ism ˈkrēt-ᵊn-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce cretinism (audio)
: an abnormal condition that is usually present from birth, is marked by physical stunting and intellectual disability, and is caused by a lack of the secretion of the thyroid gland

Medical Definition

cretinism

noun
cre·​tin·​ism -ᵊn-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce cretinism (audio)
: a usually congenital condition marked by physical stunting and intellectual disability and caused by severe thyroid deficiency

called also infantile myxedema

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