from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The habit of living on dry food, especially a form of abstinence, as in the early church, in which only bread, herbs, salt, and water were consumed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Among the primitive Christians, the living on a diet of dry food in Lent and on other fasts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A restrictive diet (of bread and water, for example) as a punishment or religious form of discipline.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ξηροφαγία. Compare xero-, -phagy.


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  • From A.Word.A.Day:

    The eating of dry food, especially food that's cooked without oil.

    From Latin xero- (dry), from Greek xeros + Latin -phagy (eating), from

    Greek phagia. In the early Christian Church, xerophagy meant eating food

    cooked in water and salt during Lent. Xerophagy has also been practiced

    in prison and in the military as a form of punishment.

    "Your Uncle Charles had his blood cholesterol tested late last week. Though the verdict rendered was no worse than a rather unperspicuous 'Normal to Upper-normal', the penultimate modifier has caused, as you might anticipate, much pacing and high-decibel whingeing, as well as vows of eternal xerophagy from here on out."

    David Foster Wallace; Infinite Jest: A Novel; Little, Brown and Company; 1996.

    November 2, 2007

  • Sounds like the letters Z R F A G.

    May 17, 2008

  • Naw, it sounds like Z Ρ פ G.

    July 17, 2008

  • JM is not looking forward to the Xerophagy Club picnic.

    October 17, 2009

  • For hermits in their xerophagy

    A diet of dust is philosophy.

    It's also their practice

    To forego a mattress

    And slumber in wooden sarcophagi.

    April 8, 2016