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milk sickness

noun, Pathology
a disease of humans, formerly common in some parts of the Middle West, caused by consuming milk from cattle that have been poisoned by eating certain kinds of snakeroot.
Origin of milk sickness
1815-25, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for milk sickness
  • In the early days of the country, cows would eat it and it would get into their milk, creating what's called milk sickness.
  • One theory was that they brought the cattle up on the balds to get them away from the snakeroots which cause milk sickness.
  • Settlers of the period were unfamiliar with the cause of milk sickness.
British Dictionary definitions for milk sickness

milk sickness

an acute disease characterized by weakness, vomiting, and constipation, caused by ingestion of the flesh or dairy products of cattle affected with trembles
(vet science) another name for trembles (sense 1)
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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milk sickness in Medicine

milk sickness n.
An acute, now rare disease characterized by trembling, vomiting, and severe intestinal pain, caused by eating dairy products or meat from a cow that has fed on white snakeroot.

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