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also beri-beri, paralytic disease prevalent in much of India, 1703, literally "great weakness," intensifying reduplication of Sinhalese beri "weakness."
beriberi ber·i·ber·i (běr'ē-běr'ē)
A disease caused by a deficiency of thiamine, endemic in eastern and southern Asia, and characterized by neurological symptoms, cardiovascular abnormalities, and edema. Also called endemic neuritis.