Entries linking to malnutrition
word-forming element of Latin origin meaning "bad, badly, ill, poorly, wrong, wrongly," from French mal (adv.), from Old French mal (adj., adv.) "evil, ill, wrong, wrongly" (9c.), from Latin male (adv.) "badly," or malus (adj.) "bad, evil" (fem. mala, neuter malum), from Proto-Italic *malo-, from PIE *mol-o-, probably from PIE root *mel- (3) "false, bad, wrong."
Most Modern English words with this element are 19c. coinages. It generally implies imperfection or deficiency, but often it is simply negative (as in malfeasance, malcontent). It is equivalent to dys- and caco- of Greek origin and Germanic mis- (1).
1550s, "act or process by which organisms absorb their proper food into their systems and build it into living tissue," from Old French nutrition (14c.) and directly from Latin nutritionem (nominative nutritio) "a nourishing," noun of action from past-participle stem of nutrire "to nourish, suckle, feed," from PIE *nu-tri-, suffixed form (with feminine agent suffix) of *(s)nau- "to swim, flow, let flow," hence "to suckle," extended form of root *sna- "to swim." Meaning "that which nourishes, nutriment" is from c. 1600. Related: Nutritional.
updated on November 08, 2018