the practice of eating earthy matter, especially clay or chalk, as in famine-stricken areas.
Also, geophagia [jee-uh-fey-juh, -jee-uh] , geophagism [jee-of-uh-jiz-uhm] .

1840–50; geo- + -phagy

geophagist, noun
geophagous [jee-of-uh-guhs] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
geophagy, geophagia or geophagism (dʒɪˈɒfədʒɪ, ˌdʒɪəˈfeɪdʒə, -dʒɪə, dʒɪˈɒfədʒɪzəm)
1.  the practice of eating earth, clay, chalk, etc, found in some primitive tribes
2.  zoology the habit of some animals, esp earthworms, of eating soil
geophagia, geophagia or geophagism
geophagism, geophagia or geophagism
ge'ophagist, geophagia or geophagism
geophagous, geophagia or geophagism

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"dirt-eating," 1850, from Gk. *geophagia (the actual Gk. was geotragia), from geo-, comb. form of ge "earth" + phagein "to eat."
"A diseased appetite ... prevails in several parts of Alabama, where they eat clay. I heard various speculations on the origin of this singular propensity, called 'geophagy' in some medical books." [Lyell, 1850]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

geophagy ge·oph·a·gy (jē-ŏf'ə-jē) or ge·oph·a·gism (-jĭz'əm) or ge·o·pha·gia (jē'ə-fā'jə)
The eating of earthy substances, such as clay or chalk, that is practiced as a custom or for dietary or subsistence reasons. Also called dirt-eating.

ge·oph'a·gist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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