One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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.
- ‘The facial reconstruction of a Noma victim is both complex and time consuming and requires very special skills.’
- ‘The WHO has fearfully reported that Noma may be on the increase in various African countries.’
- ‘She suffers from noma, a gangrenous disease known in Africa as the face of poverty.’
- ‘In addition to the disease itself, isolation becomes the biggest problem of people suffering from Noma.’
Late 17th century: Latin, alteration of nome ‘ulcer’, from Greek nomē, from nemein ‘to feed’.
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