ergotism

noun

er·​got·​ism ˈər-gə-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce ergotism (audio)
: a toxic condition produced by eating grain, grain products (such as rye bread), or grasses infected with ergot fungus or by chronic excessive use of an ergot drug

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Experts now know that those symptoms are common among people with convulsive ergotism, or ergot poisoning, which is caused by a fungus that can grow on wheat, rye, and other similar grains. Sarah Klein, Health.com, 2 Oct. 2017

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

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from French ergotisme, from ergot ergot + -isme -ism

First Known Use

circa 1841, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ergotism was circa 1841

Dictionary Entries Near ergotism

Cite this Entry

“Ergotism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ergotism. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition

ergotism

noun

er·​got·​ism ˈər-gət-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce ergotism (audio)
: a toxic condition produced by eating grain, grain products (as rye bread), or grasses infected with ergot fungus or by chronic excessive use of an ergot drug

More from Merriam-Webster on ergotism

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