- a disease of rye and other cereal grasses, caused by a fungus of the genus Claviceps, especially C. purpurea, which replaces the affected grain with a long, hard, blackish sclerotial body.
- the sclerotial body itself.
Origin of ergot
Examples from the Web for ergot
Historical Examples of ergot
A peculiar variety of sugar, extracted by alcohol from ergot of rye.Cooley's Practical Receipts, Volume II
All the poisonous symptoms of ergot are induced from continuously partaking of bread made with ergotised flour.
According to M. Bonjean, this preparation possesses all the hmostatic without any of the poisonous qualities of ergot.
M. Tancret states that he has succeeded in obtaining an alkaloid from ergot of rye, which he names ergotinine.
A small quantity of ether is dropped on the ergot contained in a bottle, and the latter closed with a well-fitting stopper.
Word Origin for ergot
fungal disease of rye and other grasses, 1680s, from French ergot, from Old French argot "cock's spur" (12c.), of unknown origin. The blight so called from the shape the fungus forms on the diseased grain. Ergotism "disease caused by eating ergot-infected breadstuffs," first recorded 1853. An alkaloid from the fungus, ergotamine (1921) is used to treat migraines.