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marasmus

[muh-raz-muh s] /məˈræz məs/
noun, Pathology
1.
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
1650-1660
1650-60; < Neo-Latin < Greek marasmós a wasting away, akin to maraínein to weaken, waste away
Related forms
marasmic, adjective
marasmoid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for marasmus
  • Symptoms normally manifest themselves in one of two ways, known as marasmus and kwashiorkor.
British Dictionary definitions for marasmus

marasmus

/məˈræzməs/
noun
1.
(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
n.

"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)
n.
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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Encyclopedia Article for marasmus

a form of protein-energy malnutrition occurring chiefly among very young children in developing countries, particularly under famine conditions, in which a mother's milk supply is greatly reduced. Marasmus results from the inadequate intake of both protein and calories; persons with a similar type of protein-energy malnutrition, kwashiorkor, do not obtain enough protein but still consume a moderate number of calories. Marasmus is characterized by growth retardation (in weight more than in height) and progressive wasting of subcutaneous fat and muscle. Other symptoms may include diarrhea; dehydration; behavioral changes; dry, loose skin; and dry, brittle hair. Marasmus can be treated with a high-calorie, protein-rich diet. Severe, prolonged marasmus may result in permanent mental retardation and impaired growth.

Learn more about marasmus with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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