- a malnutrition disease, chiefly of children, caused by severe protein and vitamin deficiency and characterized by retarded growth, changes in pigmentation, potbelly, and anemia.
Origin of kwashiorkor
1930–35; < Ga kwašiɔkɔ the influence a child is said to be under when his mother becomes pregnant with her next child; spelling with r's is r-less speaker's representation of the vowels
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- severe malnutrition of infants and young children, esp soon after weaning, resulting from dietary deficiency of protein
C20: from a native word in Ghana
Word Origin and History for kwashiorkor
1935, from a native name in Ghana for the disease.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A severe malnutrition of infants and young children, primarily in tropical and subtropical regions, caused by deficiency in the quality and quantity of protein in the diet and characterized by anemia, edema, potbelly, depigmentation of the skin, loss or change in hair color, hypoalbuminemia, and bulky stools containing undigested food.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- A severe malnutrition, seen primarily in children of tropical and subtropical regions, caused by deficiency in the quality and quantity of dietary protein. Kwahiorkor is characterized by failure to grow, anemia, liver damage, edema, discoloration of the skin or hair, and bulky stools containing undigested food.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.