Share this entry

Share this page

pellagra

Syllabification: pel·la·gra
Pronunciation: /pəˈlaɡrə, -ˈlāɡrə, -ˈläɡrə
 
/

Definition of pellagra in English:

noun

A deficiency disease caused by a lack of nicotinic acid or its precursor tryptophan in the diet. It is characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea, and mental disturbance, and is often linked to overdependence on corn as a staple food.
Example sentences
  • Those highly dependent on corn as a food might develop pellagra and this chronic disease, causing dermatitis, diarrhea, and ultimately dementia, battered the population of European corn growing regions during the nineteenth century.
  • Deficiency leads to pellagra, a condition characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea and certain mental health problems.
  • The troops suffered from malaria, dengue fever, beriberi, hookworm and pellagra.

Origin

early 19th century: from Italian, from pelle 'skin', on the pattern of podagra.

Derivatives

pellagrous

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Why must they suffer these unsightly pellagrous lesions, and all the accompanying discomforts?

Words that rhyme with pellagra

Niagara, Viagra

Definition of pellagra in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing