marasmus

noun

ma·​ras·​mus mə-ˈraz-məs How to pronounce marasmus (audio)
: a condition of chronic undernourishment occurring especially in children and usually caused by a diet deficient in calories and proteins
marasmic adjective

Examples of marasmus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Funeral home records show Edith died from marasmus, or severe undernourishment. Matthias Gafni, The Mercury News, 9 May 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'marasmus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Late Latin, from Greek marasmos, from marainein to waste away

First Known Use

1574, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of marasmus was in 1574

Dictionary Entries Near marasmus

Cite this Entry

“Marasmus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marasmus. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

marasmus

noun
ma·​ras·​mus mə-ˈraz-məs How to pronounce marasmus (audio)
: severe malnutrition affecting infants and children especially of impoverished regions that is characterized by poor growth, loss of subcutaneous fat, muscle atrophy, apathy, and pronounced weight loss and is usually caused by a diet deficient in calories and proteins but sometimes by disease (as dysentery or giardiasis)

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