rickets

[rik-its]
noun Pathology.
a disease of childhood, characterized by softening of the bones as a result of inadequate intake of vitamin D and insufficient exposure to sunlight, also associated with impaired calcium and phosphorus metabolism.

Origin:
1635–45; origin uncertain

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World English Dictionary
rickets (ˈrɪkɪts)
 
n
(functioning as singular or plural) pathol a disease mainly of children, characterized by softening of developing bone, and hence bow legs, malnutrition, and enlargement of the liver and spleen, caused by a deficiency of vitamin D
 
[C17: of unknown origin]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

rickets
1634, of uncertain origin. Originally a local name for the disease in Dorset and Somerset, England. Some derive it from a Dorset word, rucket "to breathe with difficulty," but the sense connection is difficult. The Mod.L. name for the disease, rachitis, comes from Late Gk. rhachitis "inflammation of
the spine," from Gk. rhakhis "spine," but this was chosen by Whistler for resemblance to rickets. Rickety "liable to fall down" (1685) is from rickets via notion of "weak, unhealthy," but has rarely been used in its literal sense.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

rickets rick·ets (rĭk'ĭts)
n.
A deficiency disease resulting from a lack of vitamin D or calcium and from insufficient exposure to sunlight, characterized by defective bone growth and occurring chiefly in children. Also called infantile osteomalacia, juvenile osteomalacia, rachitis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
rickets   (rĭk'ĭts)  Pronunciation Key 
A bone disease seen mostly in children, caused by a deficiency of vitamin D, usually as a result of inadequate dietary intake or lack of exposure to sunlight. This deficiency causes decreased calcium absorption from the intestine and abnormalities in formation and mineralization of skeletal bone, resulting in defective bone growth and deformity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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