• synonyms


[kreet-n-iz-uh m or, esp. British, kret-]
See more synonyms for cretinism on Thesaurus.com
noun Pathology.
  1. a congenital disease due to absence or deficiency of normal thyroid secretion, characterized by physical deformity, dwarfism, and mental retardation, and often by goiter.
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Origin of cretinism

From the French word crétinisme, dating back to 1795–1805. See cretin, -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for cretinism

Historical Examples

  • Cretinism is a condition due to disease of the thyroid glands.

    Being Well-Born

    Michael F. Guyer

  • The causation of the sporadic form of cretinism is, however, obscure.

  • Cretinism in any form had always shocked Dwight Wade inexpressibly.

  • Only one case is reported in which goitre was associated with cretinism.


    Eugene S. Talbot

  • So cretinism was in a fair way to spread all over the valley from this spot.

    The Country Doctor

    Honore de Balzac

British Dictionary definitions for cretinism


  1. old-fashioned a condition arising from a deficiency of thyroid hormone, present from birth, characterized by dwarfism and mental retardationSee also myxoedema
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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

cretinism in Medicine


  1. A congenital condition due to thyroid hormone deficiency during fetal development and marked in childhood by dwarfed stature, mental retardation, dystrophy of the bones, and a low basal metabolism.congenital myxedema cretinoid dysplasia
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.