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[puh-lag-ruh, -ley-gruh, -lah-] /pəˈlæg rə, -ˈleɪ grə, -ˈlɑ-/
noun, Pathology.
a disease caused by a deficiency of niacin in the diet, characterized by skin changes, severe nerve dysfunction, mental symptoms, and diarrhea.
Origin of pellagra
1805-15; < Italian < New Latin: skin disease, equivalent to pell(is) skin + -agra < Greek ágra seizure
Related forms
pellagrose, pellagrous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for pellagra


/pəˈleɪɡrə; -ˈlæ-/
(pathol) a disease caused by a dietary deficiency of nicotinic acid, characterized by burning or itching often followed by scaling of the skin, inflammation of the mouth, diarrhoea, mental impairment, etc
Derived Forms
pellagrous, adjective
Word Origin
C19: via Italian from pelle skin + -agra, from Greek agra paroxysm
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pellagra

chronic disease caused by dietary deficiency and characterized by skin eruptions, 1811, a hybrid formed from Latin pellis "skin" (see film (n.)) + Greek agra "a catching, seizure," related to agrein "to take, seize." But OED suggests it might be originally Italian pelle agra "rough skin." Related: Pellagrous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pellagra in Medicine

pellagra pel·lag·ra (pə-lāg'rə, -lā'grə, -lä'-)
A disease caused by a deficiency of niacin and protein in the diet and characterized by skin eruptions, digestive and nervous system disturbances, and eventual mental deterioration.

pel·lag'rous adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pellagra in Science
  (pə-lāg'rə, -lā'grə)   
A disease caused by a lack of niacin in the diet, characterized by skin and digestive disorders and mental deterioration.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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