Also found in: Wikipedia.


the habit of eating starch, such as laundry starch, a form of pica.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


A morbid craving for starch.
Synonym(s): starch-eating
[amylo- + G. phagō, to eat]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


The compulsive eating of purified starch, typically cornstarch or laundry starch.
Mentioned in: Pica
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
The definition can be broadened to encompass any behavior manifested by the eating of a non-food that is unusual in kind or quantity (2) including ice (pagophagia), hair, plaster, clay or dirt (geophagia), laundry and corn starch (amylophagia), ashes, and cigarette butts.
Several examples of pica include amylophagia (the consumption of starch), coprophagia (feces), geophagia (soil, clay, or chalk), hyalophagia (glass), pagophagia (pathological consumption of ice), trichophagia (hair or wool), urophagia (urine) and xylophagia (wood).
In another 4 patients a combination of pica and food craving was found: ice and cheese in 1 patient, ice and tomatoes (tomatophagia) in 1, ice, matches (cautopyreiophagia) and brown bread (amylophagia) in 1, and ice and cucumber in 1.
Patients with kidney disease practicing pica most commonly consume clay or dirt (geophagia), laundry starch (amylophagia), or ice (pagophagia), but the list of potential pica substances can be quite extensive.