One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A moon-shaped face; a round full face. Also poetic: a face likened to the moon in beauty.
2Medicine. The rounded face characteristic of persons with chronically elevated glucocorticoid levels, whether endogenously produced (as in Cushing's disease) or as the result of high-dose therapy.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), author, biographer, and historian. From moon + face. Compare earlier moon-faced.
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