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[noh-muh] /ˈnoʊ mə/
noun, plural nomas. Pathology
a gangrenous ulceration of the mouth or genitalia, occurring mainly in debilitated children.
Origin of noma
1825-35; < New Latin, Latin nomē a sore, ulcer < Greek nomḗ a feeding, grazing (akin to némein to feed, graze, consume) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for noma
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At length there came a day when noma, his wife, was brought to bed.

    The Wizard H. Rider Haggard
  • "Then cause some other to give it and let him bear the blame," suggested noma languidly.

    The Wizard H. Rider Haggard
  • "You do but waste your labour, Hafela," said noma, who stood by him watching the assault.

    The Wizard H. Rider Haggard
  • "Greeting, Hokosa," said noma, and she stretched out her hand to him.

    The Wizard H. Rider Haggard
  • Now again the horn blew, and in the bright moonlight the slight figure of noma could be seen advancing towards the stone.

    The Wizard H. Rider Haggard
  • Then they descended and left him, and would have led noma with them from the tree.

    The Wizard H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for noma


a gangrenous inflammation of the mouth, esp one affecting malnourished children
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, from Latin nomē ulcer, from Greek nomē feeding; related to Greek nemein to feed
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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noma in Medicine

noma no·ma (nō'mə)
A severe, often gangrenous inflammation of the lips and cheek or of the female genitals that often occurs following an infectious disease and is found most often in children in poor hygienic or malnourished condition. Also called stomatonecrosis.

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