Definitions

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

  • n. A progressive wasting of the body, occurring chiefly in young children and associated with insufficient intake or malabsorption of food.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any wasting disease, especially a severe loss of body weight, in children, caused by malnutrition or the inability to digest protein

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A wasting of flesh without fever or apparent disease; a kind of consumption; atrophy; phthisis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In pathology, a wasting of the flesh.

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

  • n. extreme malnutrition and emaciation (especially in children); can result from inadequate intake of food or from malabsorption or metabolic disorders

Etymologies

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

New Latin, from Greek marasmos, from marainein, to waste away.

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