One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A disease causing inflammation of the nerves and heart failure, caused by a deficiency of vitamin B₁.
- ‘His body was ridden with disease - beriberi, dysentery and scurvy - and his doctor's prognosis was grim.’
- ‘The troops suffered from malaria, dengue fever, beriberi, hookworm and pellagra.’
- ‘Diseases such as beriberi and malaria have become more common as problems with sanitation have increased.’
- ‘This was determined to be one of the vitamins that prevented beriberi, a deficiency disease marked by inflammatory or degenerative changes of the nerves, digestive system and heart.’
- ‘When they examined the explorers' journals, they found recorded a classic progression of the symptoms of thiamine deficiency, or the disease known as beriberi.’
Early 18th century: from Sinhalese, from beri ‘weakness’.
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