A deformed sucker cluster on an arm of an octopus

A deformity, dysmorphism, or dysmorphic feature is a major difference in the shape of body part or organ compared to the average shape of that part. Deformity may arise from numerous causes:

  • A Genetic mutation
  • Damage to the fetus or uterus
  • Complications at birth
  • A growth or hormone disorder
  • Reconstructive surgery following a severe injury e.g. burn injury.
  • Arthritis and other Rheumatoid disorders

Deformity can occur in non-humans, as well. Frogs can be mutated due to Ribeiroia (Trematoda) infection.

In many cases in which a major deformity is present at birth, it is the result of an underlying condition severe enough that the baby does not survive very long. The mortality of severely deformed births may be due to a range of complications including missing or non-functioning vital organs, structural defects that prevent breathing or eating, and high susceptibility to injuries or infections that lead to death.

Mythological creatures may have been created due to a deformative syndrome also, for instance, descriptions of mermaids may be related to the symptoms of sirenomelia. The Irish Mythology includes the Fomorians, who are almost without exception described as being deformed, possessing only one of what most have two of (eyes, arms, legs, etc.) or having larger than normal limbs.


See also

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Deformity — De*form i*ty, n.; pl. {Deformities}. [L. deformitas, fr. deformis: cf. OF. deformet[ e], deformit[ e], F. difformit[ e]. See {Deform}, v. & a., and cf. {Disformity}.] 1. The state of being deformed; want of proper form or symmetry; any unnatural… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deformity — early 15c., diformyte, from O.Fr. deformité deformity, disfigurement, from L. deformitatem (nom. deformitas) ugliness, from deformis misformed, misshapen, from deformare (see DEFORM (Cf. deform)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • deformity — deformity. = malformation (см.). (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • deformity — deformity. См. тератоморфа. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • deformity — index defacement, defect, distortion, flaw Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • deformity — [n] disfigurement, distortion aberration, abnormality, asymmetry, buckle, contortion, corruption, crookedness, damage, defacement, defect, depravity, evil, grossness, hideousness, impairment, injury, irregularity, knot, malconformation,… …   New thesaurus

  • deformity — ► NOUN (pl. deformities) 1) a deformed part, especially of the body. 2) the state of being deformed …   English terms dictionary

  • deformity — [dē fôr′mə tē, difôr′mə tē] n. pl. deformities [ME deformite < OFr deformité < L deformitas < deformis, misshapen < de , from + forma, FORM] 1. the condition of being deformed 2. a) abnormal bodily formation b) a deformed or… …   English World dictionary

  • deformity — [[t]dɪfɔ͟ː(r)mɪti[/t]] deformities 1) N COUNT A deformity is a part of someone s body which is not the normal shape because of injury or illness, or because they were born this way. ...facial deformities in babies. 2) N UNCOUNT Deformity is the… …   English dictionary

  • deformity — UK [dɪˈfɔː(r)mətɪ] / US [dɪˈfɔrmətɪ] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms deformity : singular deformity plural deformities a part of someone s body that is not the usual shape …   English dictionary

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