[ muh-raz-muh s ]
/ məˈræz məs /

noun Pathology.

malnutrition occurring in infants and young children, caused by insufficient intake of calories or protein and characterized by thinness, dry skin, poor muscle development, and irritability.

Nearby words

  1. marantic,
  2. marari,
  3. marasca,
  4. maraschino,
  5. maraschino cherry,
  6. marat,
  7. marat, jean paul,
  8. marat, jean-paul,
  9. maratha,
  10. maratha confederacy

Origin of marasmus

1650–60; < New Latin < Greek marasmós a wasting away, akin to maraínein to weaken, waste away

Related formsma·ras·mic, adjectivema·ras·moid, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for marasmus

British Dictionary definitions for marasmus


/ (məˈræzməs) /


pathol general emaciation and wasting, esp of infants, thought to be associated with severe malnutrition or impaired utilization of nutrients
Derived Formsmarasmic, adjective

Word Origin for marasmus

C17: from New Latin, from Greek marasmos, from marainein to waste

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

Word Origin and History for marasmus



"wasting away of the body," 1650s, Modern Latin, from Greek marasmos "a wasting away, withering, decay," from marainein "to quench, weaken, wither," from PIE root *mer- "to rub away, harm" (see morbid). Maras (n.) evidently in the same sense is attested from mid-15c. Related: Marasmic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for marasmus


[ mə-răzməs ]


Chronic wasting of body tissues, especially in young children, commonly due to prolonged dietary deficiency of protein and calories.athrepsia
Related formsma•rasmic adj.

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