Entries linking to ergotism
fungal disease of rye and other grasses, 1680s, from French ergot "ergot," also "a spur, the extremity of a dead branch," from Old French argot "cock's spur" (12c.), which is of unknown origin. The blight so called from the shape the fungus forms on the diseased grain. Related: Ergotic. An alkaloid from the fungus, ergotamine (1921) is used to treat migraines.
word-forming element making nouns implying a practice, system, doctrine, etc., from French -isme or directly from Latin -isma, -ismus (source also of Italian, Spanish -ismo, Dutch, German -ismus), from Greek -ismos, noun ending signifying the practice or teaching of a thing, from the stem of verbs in -izein, a verb-forming element denoting the doing of the noun or adjective to which it is attached. For distinction of use, see -ity. The related Greek suffix -isma(t)- affects some forms.
updated on September 14, 2014