Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A disease caused by a deficiency of thiamine, endemic in eastern and southern Asia and characterized by neurological symptoms, cardiovascular abnormalities, and edema.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ailment caused by a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1), leading to lethargy and organ complications.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An acute disease occurring in India, characterized by multiple inflammatory changes in the nerves, producing great muscular debility, a painful rigidity of the limbs, and cachexy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A disease characterized by anemia, muscular and sensory paralysis, more or less pain, general dropsical symptoms, effusion into the serous cavities, and dyspnœa on exertion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. avitaminosis caused by lack of thiamine (vitamin B1)

Etymologies

Sinhalese, reduplication of beri, weakness.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowed from Sinhalese, reduplication of ... (beri, "weakness"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In 1803 Thomas Christie, a physician with the British army in Sri Lanka, wrote: the chief cause of beriberi is certainly a want of stimulating and nourishing diet ...

    The Nobel Prize and the Discovery of Vitamins

  • That in the opinion of this Association, sufficient evidence has now been produced in support of the view that beriberi is associated with the continuous consumption of white (polished) rice as the staple article of diet, and that the

    Christiaan Eijkman - Nobel Lecture

  • It had all the more reason to take this line since beriberi is a disease with pronounced local and periodic tendencies (as defined by von Pettenkofer).

    Christiaan Eijkman - Nobel Lecture

  • As a result of numerous experiments by different investigators on animals and human beings, who offered themselves for experimental work, it has gradually become clear that beriberi is a disease for the appearance of which lack of the vitamin found in rice bran - but also other circumstances - is of decisive importance.

    Physiology or Medicine 1929 - Presentation Speech

  • It might have been expected that Eijkman's discovery would lead to an immediate and decided decline in beriberi - perhaps to the disappearance of the disease.

    Physiology or Medicine 1929 - Presentation Speech

  • And because they didn't have vitamin B, they were developing beriberi, which is a hideous disease.

    Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission

  • If scurvy didn't set in first, the thiamine deficiency known as beriberi might be deadly.

    Slate Magazine

  • Their absence is probably responsible for certain diseases, such as beriberi, scurvy, and possibly pellagra, as well as much ill health of a less definite sort.

    How to Live Rules for Healthful Living Based on Modern Science

  • The debilitating disease called beriberi plagued rice-eating Asia in the 19th century when milling machines made it easier to remove the inconvenient, unattractive outer bran layer from rice grains— and along with it their thiamin, which the rest of the largely vegetarian diet couldn’t make up meats and fish are rich in thiamin.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • Fed little more than rice mush and wracked with diseases such as beriberi, people in the camps were always thinking about food, Flynn said.

    The Union - All Categories

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