deficiency disease


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

Examples of deficiency disease in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sniderman, an artist and playwright who lives in California, was diagnosed in 2008 with the progressive muscle weakness disease dermatomyositis and later with a primary immune deficiency disease. Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2024 The public was encouraged to eat more vitamin-fortified, processed foods to prevent nutrient deficiency diseases like scurvy, which is caused by a severe vitamin C deficit, or rickets, caused by prolonged vitamin D deficiency. Janet Colson, Discover Magazine, 13 Aug. 2023 This applies both to those with visible disabilities, such as Thorleifsson, as well as invisible ones, which include those with immune deficiency diseases. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 11 Mar. 2023 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,, 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deficiency disease.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

deficiency disease

: 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

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

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