[ ur-guh-tiz-uh m ]
/ ˈɜr gəˌtɪz əm /

noun Pathology.

a condition caused by eating rye or some other grain that is infected with ergot fungus or by taking an overdose of a medicine containing ergot, characterized by cramps, spasms, and a form of gangrene.

Origin of ergotism

First recorded in 1850–55; ergot + -ism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ergotism

British Dictionary definitions for ergotism

/ (ˈɜːɡəˌtɪzəm) /


ergot poisoning, producing either burning pains and eventually gangrene in the limbs or itching skin and convulsionsAlso called: Saint Anthony's fire
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

Medical definitions for ergotism

[ ûrgə-tĭz′əm ]


Poisoning caused by consuming ergot-infected grain or grain products, or from excessive use of drugs containing ergot.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.