[puh-lag-ruh, -ley-gruh, -lah-]

noun Pathology.

a disease caused by a deficiency of niacin in the diet, characterized by skin changes, severe nerve dysfunction, mental symptoms, and diarrhea.

Origin of pellagra

1805–15; < Italian < New Latin: skin disease, equivalent to pell(is) skin + -agra < Greek ágra seizure
Related formspel·la·grose, pel·la·grous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pellagra

Historical Examples of pellagra

British Dictionary definitions for pellagra



pathol a disease caused by a dietary deficiency of nicotinic acid, characterized by burning or itching often followed by scaling of the skin, inflammation of the mouth, diarrhoea, mental impairment, etc
Derived Formspellagrous, adjective

Word Origin for pellagra

C19: via Italian from pelle skin + -agra, from Greek agra paroxysm
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 pellagra

chronic disease caused by dietary deficiency and characterized by skin eruptions, 1811, a hybrid formed from Latin pellis "skin" (see film (n.)) + Greek agra "a catching, seizure," related to agrein "to take, seize." But OED suggests it might be originally Italian pelle agra "rough skin." Related: Pellagrous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pellagra in Medicine


[pə-lăgrə, -lāgrə, -lä-]


A disease caused by a deficiency of niacin and protein in the diet and characterized by skin eruptions, digestive and nervous system disturbances, and eventual mental deterioration.
Related formspel•lagrous adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pellagra in Science


[pə-lăgrə, -lāgrə]

A disease caused by a lack of niacin in the diet, characterized by skin and digestive disorders and mental deterioration.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.