One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Severe undernourishment causing an infant's or child's weight to be significantly low for their age (e.g., below 60 percent of normal).
- ‘Cases of marasmus, which causes children to waste away, increased more than 50-fold.’
- ‘HIV infection predisposes children to develop severe malnutrition, although this is more commonly manifest as marasmus than kwashiorkor.’
- ‘Prevalence of clinical protein energy malnutrition in the form of marasmus was found in 6 children, while Kwashiorkor was not recorded.’
- ‘Clinical impression of wasting of musculature of the limbs, but not severe enough to describe the child as suffering from marasmus was classified as emaciation.’
- ‘Patients with marasmus present with severe weight loss and wasting of both muscle and adipose tissue.’
Mid 17th century: modern Latin, from Greek marasmos ‘withering’, from marainein ‘wither’.
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