Definition of Scurvy

1. Noun. A condition caused by deficiency of ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Exact synonyms: Scorbutus
Generic synonyms: Avitaminosis, Hypovitaminosis
Derivative terms: Scorbutic, Scorbutic

2. Adjective. Of the most contemptible kind. "A scurvy trick"
Exact synonyms: Abject, Low, Low-down, Miserable, Scummy
Similar to: Contemptible

Definition of Scurvy

1. a. Covered or affected with scurf or scabs; scabby; scurfy; specifically, diseased with the scurvy.

2. n. A disease characterized by livid spots, especially about the thighs and legs, due to extravasation of blood, and by spongy gums, and bleeding from almost all the mucous membranes. It is accompanied by paleness, languor, depression, and general debility. It is occasioned by confinement, innutritious food, and hard labor, but especially by lack of fresh vegetable food, or confinement for a long time to a limited range of food, which is incapable of repairing the waste of the system. It was formerly prevalent among sailors and soldiers.

Definition of Scurvy

1. Noun. (disease) A disease caused by insufficient intake of vitamin C leading to the formation of livid spots on the skin, spongy gums, loosening of the teeth and bleeding into the skin and from almost all mucous membranes. ¹

2. Adjective. Contemptible, despicable, low, disgustingly mean. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Scurvy

1. base or contemptible [adj -VIER, -VIEST] : SCURVILY [adv] / a disease resulting from vitamin C deficiency [n -VIES]

Medical Definition of Scurvy

1. Disease caused by Vitamin C deficiency. The effects are due to a failure of the hydroxylation of proline residues in collagen synthesis and the consequent failure of fibroblasts to produce mature collagen. See: hydroxyproline. This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology (11 Mar 2008)

Scurvy Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Scurvy

scurvy (current term)
scurvy rickets
scut monkey
scut monkeys
scut work

Literary usage of Scurvy

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Chemistry of Food and Nutrition by Henry Clapp Sherman (1918)
"McCollum holds that the guinea pig will have scurvy on any diet which does not ... His guinea pigs showing typical scurvy symptoms recovered after liberal ..."

2. The Newer Knowledge of Nutrition: The Use of Food for the Preservation of by Elmer Verner McCollum (1922)
"When McCollum and Pitz, independently of Jackson and Moore, observed that guinea pigs confined to a diet of oats and milk quickly succumb to scurvy, ..."

3. The Principles and Practice of Medicine: Designed for the Use of by William Osler, Thomas McCrae (1916)
"Occasionally one meets with scurvy among quite well-to-do people. Some years ago scurvy was not infrequent in the large lumbering camps in the Ottawa Valley ..."

4. The Principles and Practice of Medicine: Designed for the Use of by William Osler (1905)
"In parts of Russia scurvy is endemic, at certain seasons reaching epidemic proportions; ... In the United States scurvy has become a very rare disease. ..."

5. The Newer Knowledge of Nutrition: The Use of Food for the Preservation of by Elmer Verner McCollum (1922)
"Of these scurvy has long been the most definitely attributed to ... This event marked the beginning of long voyages, and scurvy began to take a heavy toll ..."

6. Preventive Medicine and Hygiene by Milton Joseph Rosenau, George Chandler Whipple, John William Trask, Thomas William Salmon (1921)
"scurvy (Scorbutus) scurvy is a deficiency disease due to some prolonged error in diet ... scurvy is undoubtedly due to some fault in the diet, but just what ..."

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