Definitions

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

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In pathology, a wasting of the flesh.

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

  • noun (Med.) A wasting of flesh without fever or apparent disease; a kind of consumption; atrophy; phthisis.
  • noun progressive atrophy of the aged.

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

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

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

  • noun 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; see mer- in Indo-European roots.]

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