Definition of noma in English:



mass noun
  • A form of gangrene affecting the face, usually caused by a bacterial infection and typically occurring in young children suffering from malnutrition or other disease.

    ‘she suffers from noma, a gangrenous disease’
    • ‘The WHO has fearfully reported that Noma may be on the increase in various African countries.’
    • ‘The facial reconstruction of a Noma victim is both complex and time consuming and requires very special skills.’
    • ‘In addition to the disease itself, isolation becomes the biggest problem of people suffering from Noma.’
    • ‘She suffers from noma, a gangrenous disease known in Africa as the ‘face of poverty’.’


Late 17th century: Latin, alteration of nome ‘ulcer’, from Greek nomē, from nemein ‘to feed’.