from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A congenital condition caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormone during prenatal development and characterized in childhood by dwarfed stature, mental retardation, dystrophy of the bones, and a low basal metabolism.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In pathology, a condition of imperfect mental development or idiocy, with a corresponding lack of physical development, or deformity, arising from endemic causes, found among the inhabitants of the valleys of Switzerland and Savoy, and elsewhere.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A condition of endemic or inherited idiocy, accompanied by physical degeneracy and deformity (usually with goiter), frequent in certain mountain valleys, esp. of the Alps.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun pathology A condition of severely stunted physical and mental growth due to the untreated congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones.

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

  • noun severe hypothyroidism resulting in physical and mental stunting


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From cretin +‎ -ism.


  • For example, Thailand (only a half standard deviation below the US) has recently started a what appears to be a well-designed, sensible national program to boost average IQ by fortification of staple foods with iodine and other essential micronutrients in order to prevent IQ-lowering medical syndromes like the medical condition known as cretinism, which is caused by lack of iodine (the US instititued fortification of all salt with iodine back before WWII to eliminate cretinism).

    Does It Matter If IQ Matters?, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • They are horrible too, aren’t they? they did horrible things to deserve this didn’t they? moral cretinism is alive and well in America.

    Think Progress » Israelis and Lebanese talking — on the net.

  • The peculiar disease called cretinism, as well as goitre, has been attributed to a predominance of certain chemicals in the soil.

    The Home Medical Library, Volume V (of VI)

  • Imperfect development or absence of this organ, or an inactive condition of it, produces in the child arrested growth and deficient mental development known as cretinism, and in the adult the same condition gives rise to mental deterioration, swelling of the skin, due to a greater content of water, and loss of hair.

    Disease and Its Causes

  • The particular form of idiocy known as cretinism is the result of this deficiency, which produces an arrest of the development of the brain cells.

    The Pivot of Civilization

  • There is a congenital disease called cretinism which essentially is due to a lack of thyroid secretion.

    The Foundations of Personality

  • Thyroid deficiency in children gives rise to a form of idiocy, bodily malformation and degeneracy known as cretinism, while in adult life it is associated with a similar disorder known as myxedema.

    Vitality Supreme

  • Others argued that the bones were from modern human pygmies or people whose brains were dwarfed by a genetic disease called cretinism, giving rise to a small body and abnormally tiny skull.

    COSMOS magazine - The science of everything

  • The particular form of idiocy known as cretinism is the result of this deficiency, which produces an arrest of the development of the brain cells.

    Reasoned Audacity

  • That helped eliminate "cretinism" and similar medical problems lowering intelligence in the industrialized world a few generations ago.

    Colonialism's Surprisingly Weak Impact:


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Subject to regular contract conditions". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 21, 2013