Definition of ainhum in English:



  • [mass noun] A condition in which a band of fibrous tissue grows around the base of a toe, eventually resulting in loss of the digit. It occurs mainly in the tropics and is associated with going barefoot.

    • ‘Ainhum: clinical photograph shows the characteristic deep constricting groove in the plantar digital fold along the medial aspect of the fifth toe.’
    • ‘Three cases of Ainhum are reported and injections of cortisone were given with temporary relief.’
    • ‘Because the occurrence of ainhum is rare, discussion of the disease is lacking in medical literature.’
    • ‘Sailor John certainly had ainhum.’
    • ‘We describe the case of an Italian Caucasian man with ainhum involving both big toes.’


Late 19th century: from Portuguese, based on Yoruba eyun saw.