deficiency disease

noun

: a disease (such as scurvy) caused by a lack of essential dietary elements and especially a vitamin or mineral

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This yellowing of leaves is sometimes confused with a nutrient deficiency disease called iron chlorosis, especially in the case of azaleas and gardenias. Dan Gill, NOLA.com, 27 Jan. 2021 These ancient beliefs received scientific validation in the early 20th century, when sunlight was employed to kill tuberculosis bacteria and to treat the deficiency disease, rickets. Richard Schiffman, New York Times, 28 Apr. 2020 By artificially adding vitamins and minerals back in, deficiency diseases like rickets and beriberi were largely eliminated from the Western world. Kyle Frischkorn, Smithsonian, 14 June 2017

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

Word History

First Known Use

1912, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deficiency disease was in 1912

Dictionary Entries Near deficiency disease

Cite this Entry

“Deficiency disease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deficiency%20disease. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

deficiency disease

noun
: a disease (as scurvy or beriberi) caused by a lack of one or more essential substances (as a vitamin or mineral) in the diet

Medical Definition

deficiency disease

noun
: a disease (as scurvy) caused by a lack of essential dietary elements and especially a vitamin or mineral

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