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botulism

[boch-uh-liz-uh m]
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noun Pathology.
  1. a sometimes fatal disease of the nervous system acquired from spoiled foods in which botulin is present, especially improperly canned or marinated foods.
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Origin of botulism

1875–80; < German Botulismus, equivalent to Latin botul(us) sausage (a source of botulin toxin) + -ismus -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

botulism, salmonella

Examples from the Web for botulism

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Thus far the best-known examples of poisoning by the products of micro-organisms are botulism and ergotism.

    Food Poisoning

    Edwin Oakes Jordan

  • This may take place with other kinds of flesh, and is known as botulism, or allantiasis.

  • It should be clearly understood that botulism is one of the very rare maladies.

    Every Step in Canning

    Grace Viall Gray

  • To regard every can as a source of botulism is worse than regarding every dog as a source of hydrophobia.

    Every Step in Canning

    Grace Viall Gray


British Dictionary definitions for botulism

botulism

noun
  1. severe poisoning from ingestion of botulin, which affects the central nervous system producing difficulty in swallowing, visual disturbances, and respiratory paralysis: often fatal
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Word Origin

C19: first formed as German Botulismus literally: sausage poisoning, from Latin botulus sausage
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

Word Origin and History for botulism

n.

1878, from German Botulismus (1878), coined in German from Latin botulus "sausage" (see bowel) + -ismus suffix of action or state (see -ism). Sickness first traced to eating tainted sausage (sausage poisoning was an old name for it).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

botulism in Medicine

botulism

(bŏchə-lĭz′əm)
n.
  1. A severe, sometimes fatal food poisoning caused by ingestion of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum in improperly canned or preserved food and characterized by nausea, vomiting, disturbed vision, and paralysis.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

botulism in Science

botulism

[bŏchə-lĭz′əm]
  1. A severe, sometimes fatal food poisoning caused by eating food infected with the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which produces botulinum toxin. The bacterium grows in food that has been improperly preserved.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

botulism in Culture

botulism

[(boch-uh-liz-uhm)]

A severe form of food poisoning, often fatal if not treated quickly. Botulism is caused by a kind of bacterium that produces a toxin, and it is sometimes present in improperly canned or preserved foods.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.