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[muh-raz-muh s] /məˈræz məs/
noun, Pathology.
malnutrition occurring in infants and young children, caused by insufficient intake of calories or protein and characterized by thinness, dry skin, poor muscle development, and irritability.
Origin of marasmus
1650-60; < New Latin < Greek marasmós a wasting away, akin to maraínein to weaken, waste away
Related forms
marasmic, adjective
marasmoid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for marasmus


(pathol) general emaciation and wasting, esp of infants, thought to be associated with severe malnutrition or impaired utilization of nutrients
Derived Forms
marasmic, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin, from Greek marasmos, from marainein to waste
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for marasmus

"wasting away of the body," 1650s, Modern Latin, from Greek marasmos "a wasting away, withering, decay," from marainein "to quench, weaken, wither," from PIE root *mer- "to rub away, harm" (see morbid). Maras (n.) evidently in the same sense is attested from mid-15c. Related: Marasmic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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marasmus in Medicine

marasmus ma·ras·mus (mə-rāz'məs)
Chronic wasting of body tissues, especially in young children, commonly due to prolonged dietary deficiency of protein and calories. Also called athrepsia.

ma·ras'mic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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