ergot

noun
er·​got | \ ˈər-gət How to pronounce ergot (audio) , -ˌgät \

Definition of ergot

1 : the black or dark purple sclerotium of fungi (genus Claviceps) that occurs as a club-shaped body replacing the seed of a grass (such as rye) also : a fungus bearing ergots
2 : a disease of rye and other cereals caused by an ergot fungus
3a : the dried sclerotia of an ergot fungus grown on rye and containing several alkaloids (such as ergonovine and ergotamine)
b : any of such alkaloids used medicinally for their contractile effect on smooth muscle (as of the uterus and or blood vessels)

Other Words from ergot

ergotic \ (ˌ)ər-​ˈgä-​tik How to pronounce ergot (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ergot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jackson sent a prescription for ergot and rye, a potion used at the time to induce miscarriages, to her home in Greencastle, Indiana, about 150 miles northwest of Louisville. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, 4 May 2022 Further, the author notes a weather period at the time that would have been conducive to the production of a lot of ergot on rye grown in the area’s lowlands. Popular Science, 11 Mar. 2020 Further, the author notes a weather period at the time that would have been conducive to the production of a lot of ergot on rye grown in the area’s lowlands. Popular Science, 11 Mar. 2020 Further, the author notes a weather period at the time that would have been conducive to the production of a lot of ergot on rye grown in the area’s lowlands. Popular Science, 11 Mar. 2020 Further, the author notes a weather period at the time that would have been conducive to the production of a lot of ergot on rye grown in the area’s lowlands. Popular Science, 11 Mar. 2020 Further, the author notes a weather period at the time that would have been conducive to the production of a lot of ergot on rye grown in the area’s lowlands. Popular Science, 11 Mar. 2020 Further, the author notes a weather period at the time that would have been conducive to the production of a lot of ergot on rye grown in the area’s lowlands. Popular Science, 11 Mar. 2020 Further, the author notes a weather period at the time that would have been conducive to the production of a lot of ergot on rye grown in the area’s lowlands. Popular Science, 11 Mar. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of ergot

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ergot

borrowed from French, "spur on a rooster, a similar growth on another bird or mammal, fungal sclerotium resembling a rooster's spur," earlier also argot, going back to Old French argoz (subject case) "spur of a bird or animal," derivative from a Gallo-Romance base *arg- "spine, spiny or thorny plant," probably from a pre-Latin substratal language

Note: For a list and discussion of Romance dialect words based on *arg- see Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, vol. 25, pp. 182-88.

Learn More About ergot

Dictionary Entries Near ergot

ergosterol

ergot

ergotamine

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ergot

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ergot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ergot. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ergot

ergot

noun
er·​got | \ ˈər-gət How to pronounce ergot (audio) , -ˌgät How to pronounce ergot (audio) \

Medical Definition of ergot

1a : the black or dark purple sclerotium of fungi of the genus Claviceps that occurs as a club-shaped body which replaces the seed of various grasses (as rye)
b : any fungus of the genus Claviceps
2 : a disease of rye and other cereals caused by fungi of the genus Claviceps and characterized by the presence of ergots in the seed heads — compare ergotism
3a : the dried sclerotial bodies of an ergot fungus grown on rye and containing several ergot alkaloids

Other Words from ergot

ergotic \ (ˌ)ər-​ˈgät-​ik How to pronounce ergot (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on ergot

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ergot

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