ETYM New Lat., from Greek osteon bone + malacta softness.
Abnormal softening of bones caused by deficiencies of phosphorus or calcium or vitamin D.
Softening of the bones, a condition caused by lack of vitamin D in adult life, or by faulty intestinal absorption. It results in pain and muscle cramps, bone deformity, and a tendency to spontaneous fracture. It is the adult form of rickets.