disease caused by vitamin D deficiency, 1630s, of uncertain origin. Originally a local name for the disease in Dorset and Somerset, England. Some derive it from a Dorset word, rucket "to breathe with difficulty," but the sense connection is difficult. The Modern Latin name for the disease, rachitis, comes from Greek rhakhis "spine" (see rachitic), but this was chosen by English physician Daniel Whistler (1619-1684) for resemblance to rickets.
rickets rick·ets (rĭk'ĭts)
A deficiency disease resulting from a lack of vitamin D or calcium and from insufficient exposure to sunlight, characterized by defective bone growth and occurring chiefly in children. Also called infantile osteomalacia, juvenile osteomalacia, rachitis.
A bone disease seen mostly in children, caused by a deficiency of vitamin D, usually as a result of inadequate dietary intake or lack of exposure to sunlight. This deficiency causes decreased calcium absorption from the intestine and abnormalities in formation and mineralization of skeletal bone, resulting in defective bone growth and deformity.