geophagy

[ jee-of-uh-jee ]
/ dʒiˈɒf ə dʒi /

noun

the practice of eating earthy matter, especially clay or chalk, as in famine-stricken areas.
Also ge·o·pha·gia [jee-uh-fey-juh, -jee-uh] /ˌdʒi əˈfeɪ dʒə, -dʒi ə/, ge·oph·a·gism [jee-of-uh-jiz-uh m] /dʒiˈɒf əˌdʒɪz əm/.

Origin of geophagy

First recorded in 1840–50; geo- + -phagy

Related forms

ge·oph·a·gist, nounge·oph·a·gous [jee-of-uh-guh s] /dʒiˈɒf ə gəs/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for geophagy

geophagy

geophagia (ˌdʒɪəˈfeɪdʒə, -dʒɪə) or geophagism (dʒɪˈɒfədʒɪzəm)

/ (dʒɪˈɒfədʒɪ) /

noun

the practice of eating earth, clay, chalk, etc, found in some primitive tribes
zoology the habit of some animals, esp earthworms, of eating soil

Derived Forms

geophagist, noungeophagous (dʒɪˈɒfəɡəs), adjective
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

Medicine definitions for geophagy

geophagy

[ jē-ŏfə-jē ]

n.

The eating of earthy substances, such as clay or chalk, that is practiced as a custom or for dietary or subsistence reasons.dirt-eating

Related forms

ge•opha•gist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.