variants or less commonly dunziekte
plural -s
: a serious intoxication of animals (as horses) of southern Africa that is caused by eating plants of the genus Senecio and is marked by emaciation, liver degeneration, and sometimes by nervous symptoms compare walkabout disease

Word History


Afrikaans dunsiekte (formerly spelled dunziekte), from dun thin (from Middle Dutch dunne) + siekte disease, from Middle Dutch siecte, from siec ill; akin to Old High German dunni thin and to Old High German sioh sick, ill

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Cite this Entry

“Dunsiekte.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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