Definitions

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

  • n. Poisoning caused by consuming ergot-infected grain or grain products, or from excessive use of drugs containing ergot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The effect of long-term ergot poisoning, traditionally due to the ingestion of the alkaloids produced by the Claviceps purpurea fungus which infects rye and other cereals, and more recently by the action of a number of ergoline-based drugs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A logical deduction.
  • n. A diseased condition produced by eating rye affected with the ergot fungus.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The spur of rye; ergot.
  • n. The morbid state induced by the excessive ingestion of ergot, as from the use of spurred or ergoted rye as food. Spasmodic and gangrenous forms are distinguished.
  • n. A logical inference; a conclusion.
  • n. Logical reasoning; ratiocination.

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

  • n. poisoning by ingestion of ergot-infected grain products; characterized by thirst and diarrhea and nausea and cramping and vomiting and abnormal cardiac rhythms; in severe cases it can cause seizures and gangrene of the limbs

Etymologies

ergot +‎ -ism (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The condition called ergotism or St. Anthony’s fire, common in medieval Europe, was caused by a mycotoxin produced by a mold that grew in rye bread.

    HOME COMFORTS

  • Finally there are the everyday bits and pieces of life on earth in the new millennium — a smorgasbord of climate change, natural and unnatural disasters, the political ergotism presently infecting America, animal news, poetry, technology, good books and better gossip.

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • I have a book on poisons that suggests that the Black Death may have been brought on by immunocompromisation due to widespread ergotism that year...

    seanan_mcguire: 100 Books That Rocked My World, 2009 Edition.

  • Indeed Safire should be remembered, not only as a man passionate about language, but as a civil and urbane conservative who, I would like to believe, was as appalled by the current outbreak of right-wing political ergotism as am I.

    The language maven: William Safire, 1929-2009

  • But there appears to be no precedent at all for the current outbreak of political ergotism.

    More GOP Obama Derangement Syndrome

  • I click it and in teh section where it talks about what might have rilly caused teh strange behavior and mentions ergotism, it says “When consumed, rye in the ergot stage of fungus development can bring on strange sensations such as burning and itching of the skin, “pins and needles” feeling, spasms, convulsions, unconsciousness, hallucinations, and psychosis.”

    IMPOSTER! - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

  • Scholars have sought to explain Salem in terms of gender, class, even encephalitis or ergotism -- or downright fakery.

    The Sachems Of Satan

  • That's called cacodemono mania (ph), or they have ergotism (ph), a condition in which people believe they will soon burst into flames.

    CNN Transcript Feb 8, 2007

  • Ebola/marburg ergotism erysipelas glanders influenza influenza complicated by Guillian Barre syndrome or toxic shock syndrome

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  • There were signs on Earth -- from 997, the spread of the deadly burning sickness, what we call ergotism.

    Remarks At Fifth Millennium Evening At The White House

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