Definition of gigantism in US English:



  • 1Unusual or abnormal largeness.

    • ‘The dodo of Mauritius (a giant pigeon) is a famous example of island gigantism.’
    • ‘In 1992 I visited the island of Komodo - home of the Komodo dragon - to study gigantism among reptiles.’
    • ‘Examples of such dwarfism or gigantism include the giant tortoises of the Seychelles islands, Indonesia's Komodo dragons, and the boas of the Belizean Snake Cayes.’
    • ‘Such gigantism usually leads to some form of extinction.’
    • ‘It's not certain why dinosaurs grew to such large sizes, but there are clues to the process of gigantism and its possible advantages.’
    1. 1.1Medicine Excessive growth due to hormonal imbalance.
      • ‘A minority of patients have gigantism / acromegaly with elevated levels of prolactin and growth hormone.’
      • ‘Too much growth hormone in children who are still growing will make their bones and other body parts grow excessively, resulting in gigantism.’
      • ‘He published 400 papers, many of major importance, on subjects as diverse as acromegaly, Cushing's syndrome, gigantism, the effects of prolonged fasting, diabetes, and the hormone aldosterone.’
      • ‘Interest in dwarfism, gigantism, and acromegaly has spanned the centuries; literature, especially for children, is filled with stories about dwarfs and giants, while Old Testament writings have several descriptions of giants.’
      • ‘Many variations in the human form, such as dwarfism or gigantism, can arise from such combined mutations.’
    2. 1.2Botany Excessive size in plants due to polyploidy.
      • ‘Of course, many plant parasites stimulate their hosts causing hypertrophy and gigantism; broom formation in mistletoes, and gall formation by insects and rust fungi are examples.’