Definition of marasmus
: a condition of chronic undernourishment occurring especially in children and usually caused by a diet deficient in calories and proteins
marasmicplay \-ˈraz-mik\ adjective
Recent Examples of marasmus from the Web
Funeral home records show Edith died from marasmus, or severe undernourishment.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'marasmus'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of marasmus
Late Latin, from Greek marasmos, from marainein to waste away
First Known Use: 1574See Words from the same year
Medical Definition of marasmus
: 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)
Learn More about marasmus
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about marasmus
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up marasmus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).