- a disease of humans, formerly common in some parts of the Middle West, caused by consuming milk from cattle that have been poisoned by eating certain kinds of snakeroot.
Origin of milk sickness
An Americanism dating back to 1815–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for milk sickness
The really successful author in America is, like the milk-sickness, never visible, except on the remote horizon.A Fortnight of Folly
- an acute disease characterized by weakness, vomiting, and constipation, caused by ingestion of the flesh or dairy products of cattle affected with trembles
- vet science another name for trembles (def. 1)
- An acute, now rare disease characterized by trembling, vomiting, and severe intestinal pain, caused by eating dairy products or meat from a cow that has fed on white snakeroot.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.