• Ergot
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n ergot a fungus that infects various cereal plants forming compact black masses of branching filaments that replace many grains of the plant; source of medicinally important alkaloids and of lysergic acid
    • n ergot a plant disease caused by the ergot fungus
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: LSD is made from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a type of fungus
    • Ergot A diseased condition of rye and other cereals, in which the grains become black, and often spur-shaped. It is caused by a parasitic fungus, Claviceps purpurea.
    • Ergot (Far) A stub, like soft horn, about the size of a chestnut, situated behind and below the pastern joint.
    • Ergot (Anat) See 2d Calcar, 3 .
    • Ergot The mycelium or spawn of this fungus infecting grains of rye and wheat. It is a powerful remedial agent, and also a dangerous poison, and is used as a means of hastening childbirth, and to arrest bleeding.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ergot In farriery, a stub, like a piece of soft horn, of about the size of a chestnut, situated behind and below the pastern-joint, and commonly hidden under the tuft of the fetlock.
    • n ergot A morbid growth arising from a diseased condition of the ovary of various grasses, caused by a fungus of the genus Claviceps. The growth of the fungus begins by the formation of a filamentous mycelium upon the surface of the ovary, which it destroys and displaces, retaining approximately its shape. The surface of this tissue is marked by furrows. At this stage conidia are produced upon the tips of short hyphæ; and in this form it was formerly considered a distinct species, under the generic name Sphacelia (which has become a common name coordinate with sclerotium). When the formation of conidia is at its height, a thick belt of more compact hyphæ is formed at the base of the mass. This assumes a dark-violet color, and continues to grow, pushing upward the sphacelia, which is torn from its attachments, and soon falls off. The resulting structure is the sclerotium or ergot. It is a horn-like mass, often one inch in length. It lies dormant till fall or usually till the following spring, when branches arise in a tuft. Each becomes a stroma, consisting of a stalk and a small head. In the head are formed a number of fiask-shaped perithecia, each containing many asci, of which each in turn incloses several filiform spores. The ergot of rye is caused by Claviceps purpurea. Ergot is said to cause a sort of gangrene in cattle, especially in the feet. It is used in medicine to cause contraction of the uterus and of the arterioles and as an abortifacient, and also in certain morbid states of the cerebrospinal axis, where its effect may or may not be due entirely to its action on the vessels. Also called spurred rye.
    • n ergot In anatomy, the calcar. spur, or hippocampus minor of the brain.
    • ergot To infer; arrive at.
    • ergot To draw conclusions.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ergot ėr′got a disease, consisting of a parasitical fungus, found on the seed of certain plants, esp. rye and some other grasses
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. ergot, argot, lit., a spur
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

Ergot Same as for aconite.
"The Miracle Mongers, an Exposé" by Harry Houdini
Ergot is a very common disease of the cereals.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 392, July 7, 1883" by Various
A peculiar characteristic of this condition is the state of the ergots and chestnuts.
"Diseases of the Horse's Foot" by Harry Caulton Reeks
He had lately got knowledge of a root to which the same virtues were attached as to ergot of rye.
"The Personal Life Of David Livingstone" by William Garden Blaikie
Occasionally there would be an outbreak of a nervous disorder due to the ergot fungus growing in the rye used for bread.
"Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed." by S. A. Reilly
Of the parasitic forms, one of the best known is the "ergot" of rye, more or less used in medicine.
"Elements of Structural and Systematic Botany" by Douglas Houghton Campbell
Just before confinement send for one ounce of fluid extract of ergot and an original pint bottle of Squibb's Chloroform.
"The Mother and Her Child" by William S. Sadler
I refer to the growth of ergotized grass-seeds in our pastures.
"Cattle and Their Diseases" by Robert Jennings
Fluid extract of ergot or tincture of the chlorid of iron, in ounce doses, may be selected.
"Special Report on Diseases of the Horse" by United States Department of Agriculture
Thursday, May 16, the Valley City steamed up to Ergot's Landing, and took aboard thirty-nine bales of cotton.
"Reminiscences of Two Years in the United States Navy" by John M. Batten