- 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
The grasses, natural and artificial, are occasionally affected by a formidable and well-known fungus, the ergot.The Stock-Feeder's Manual|Charles Alexander Cameron
Ergot and turpentine are administered in case of hemorrhage—the former best, perhaps, hypodermatically.
According to M. Bonjean, this preparation possesses all the hmostatic without any of the poisonous qualities of ergot.
Ergot, the altered grain of rye and other grasses caused by the attack of an ascomycetous fungus called Claviceps purpurea.The New Gresham Encyclopedia|Various
Ergot attacks wheat and rice as well as rye, but not to such an extent as to have any important influence upon the crop.Fungi: Their Nature and Uses|Mordecai Cubitt Cooke
British Dictionary definitions for ergot
Word Origin for ergot
Word Origin and History 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.