Definition of gigantism in US English:



  • 1Unusual or abnormal largeness.

    • ‘In 1992 I visited the island of Komodo - home of the Komodo dragon - to study gigantism among reptiles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The dodo of Mauritius (a giant pigeon) is a famous example of island gigantism.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1Medicine Excessive growth due to hormonal imbalance.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A minority of patients have gigantism / acromegaly with elevated levels of prolactin and growth hormone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Too much growth hormone in children who are still growing will make their bones and other body parts grow excessively, resulting in gigantism.’
      • ‘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.’