geophagy
noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1850 the practice of eating earthy substances (as clay) that in humans is performed especially to augment a scanty or mineral-deficient diet or as part of a cultural tradition — compare pica I

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • geophagy — dirt eating, 1850, from Gk. *geophagia (according to OED the actual Greek is geotragia), from geo , comb. form of ge earth + phagein to eat. A diseased appetite ... prevails in several parts of Alabama, where they eat clay. I heard various… …   Etymology dictionary

  • geophagy — [jē äf′ə jē] n. [ GEO + PHAGY] the eating of earth to make up for lack of food, as in famine areas …   English World dictionary

  • Geophagy — The red and green macaw eats clay from exposed riverbanks, allowing it to utilize nutrients in harmful foods. Geophagy is the practice of eating earthy or soil like substances such as clay, and chalk. It exists in animals in the wild and also in… …   Wikipedia

  • geophagy — geophagist, n. geophagous /jee of euh geuhs/, adj. /jee of euh jee/, n. the practice of eating earthy matter, esp. clay or chalk, as in famine stricken areas. Also, geophagia /jee euh fay jeuh, jee euh/, geophagism /jee of euh jiz euhm/. [1840… …   Universalium

  • geophagy — noun The practice of eating earthy substances such as clay and chalk, often thought to augment a mineral deficient diet …   Wiktionary

  • geophagy — ge·oph·a·gy ə jē n, pl gies the practice of eating earthy substances (as clay) that in humans is performed esp. to augment a scanty or mineral deficient diet or as part of a cultural tradition called also earth eating compare PICA * * *… …   Medical dictionary

  • geophagy — practice of feeding on soil; dirt eating Feeding and Eating …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • geophagy — n. practice of eating dirt or clay (in times of famine or as a symptom of a mental illness) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • geophagy — [dʒɪ ɒfədʒi] noun the practice in some tribal societies of eating earth. Origin C19: from geo + Gk phagia eating, feeding (from phagein eat ) …   English new terms dictionary

  • geophagy — ge·oph·a·gy …   English syllables

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