rickets

noun

rick·​ets ˈri-kəts How to pronounce rickets (audio)
plural in form but singular in construction
: a deficiency disease that affects the young during the period of skeletal growth, is characterized especially by soft and deformed bones, and is caused by failure to assimilate and use calcium and phosphorus normally due to inadequate sunlight or vitamin D

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web According to the National Institutes of Health, only about 5% of Americans have what is called a vitamin D deficiency — a serious medical condition that can lead to bone diseases such as rickets. Marisa Cohen, Good Housekeeping, 30 Dec. 2022 The boy’s rib bones were studded with knobs, and the ends of his long bones were slightly enlarged, both signs of rickets. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 28 Oct. 2022 This can lead to health issues such as rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 22 Apr. 2022 Whatever the reason, the resulting rickets may have contributed to the child’s death. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 28 Oct. 2022 At the time of the first White House nutrition conference, in 1969, research focused particularly on isolated vitamins and minerals and their role in nutrient deficiency diseases like rickets and pellagra. Stephanie Rogus, STAT, 21 Sep. 2022 The main outcome of D3 deficiency in children is skeletal deformities called rickets. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 15 Sep. 2022 In fact, children with low levels of vitamin D are at higher risk of developing a condition called rickets, which leads to bone weakness and other skeletal deformities. Valerie Agyeman, Good Housekeeping, 1 Sep. 2022 Peggy’s father, physician Alfred Hess, researched the nutritional value of fresh food and is credited in a Nobel Prize for his contributions to work to prevent scurvy and rickets. oregonlive, 19 May 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

origin unknown

First Known Use

1634, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rickets was in 1634

Dictionary Entries Near rickets

Cite this Entry

“Rickets.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rickets. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

rickets

noun
rick·​ets ˈrik-əts How to pronounce rickets (audio)
: a disease of young people and animals in which the bones are soft and deformed due to an inability of the body to use calcium and phosphorus because of a lack of vitamin D

Medical Definition

rickets

noun, plural in form but singular in construction
rick·​ets ˈrik-əts How to pronounce rickets (audio)
: a deficiency disease that affects the young during the period of skeletal growth, is characterized especially by soft and deformed bones, and is caused by failure to assimilate and use calcium and phosphorus normally due to inadequate sunlight or vitamin D

called also rachitis

see osteomalacia

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