Definition of kwashiorkor in English:



  • [mass noun] A form of malnutrition caused by protein deficiency in the diet, typically affecting young children in the tropics.

    • ‘However, Baganda suffer from malaria, and children are frequently afflicted with kwashiorkor, a form of protein-calorie malnutrition.’
    • ‘One boy of 22 months developed severe kwashiorkor on a diet of rice milk and erratic solids.’
    • ‘Children are more strongly affected by kwashiorkor than adults because they are still growing and their protein requirements are higher.’
    • ‘As a result, kwashiorkor, a disease caused by protein deficiency, is common.’
    • ‘Medication was sent over to treat diseases like goiter, anemia, kwashiorkor, and AIDS, and the people were also educated about their prevention.’


1930s: a local word in Ghana.