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[uh-fey-zhuh] /əˈfeɪ ʒə/
noun, Pathology.
the loss of a previously held ability to speak or understand spoken or written language, due to disease or injury of the brain.
Origin of aphasia
1865-70; < Greek: speechlessness, equivalent to a- a-6 + phat(ós) spoken (derivative of phánai to speak) + -ia -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for aphasia
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You are suffering from an attack of aphasia, which has caused you to forget your identity.

  • To illustrate: A patient afflicted with aphasia is brought to a physician.

  • An exploding shell had brought on that strange state of aphasia.

  • In clear speech, and in aphasia, they indicated their founder.

  • The subject of aphasia is treated in all its relations, and in all its forms and modifications.

    The Idiot Frederick Bateman
  • He suffers from aphasia, and locomotor ataxia has begun to manifest itself.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • aphasia had set in; there were no longer words, but bellowings.

    The Brain Alexander Blade
  • Then, Nov. 30th late in the afternoon: first signs of aphasia in cerebrations.

    The Brain Alexander Blade
  • Meantime the doctor reported that my suspicion as to aphasia was right.

    Chronicles of Martin Hewitt Arthur Morrison
British Dictionary definitions for aphasia


a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by partial or total loss of the ability to communicate, esp in speech or writing Compare alexia
Derived Forms
aphasiac, aphasic, adjective, noun
Word Origin
C19: via New Latin from Greek, from a-1 + -phasia, from phanai to speak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for aphasia

"loss of ability to speak," especially as result of brain injury or disorder, 1867, from Modern Latin aphasia, from Greek aphasia "speechlessness," from a- "without" (see a- (3)) + phasis "utterance," from phanai "to speak," related to pheme "voice, report, rumor" (see fame (n.)).

APHASIA is the term which has recently been given to the loss of the faculty of articulate language, the organs of phonation and of articulation, as well as the intelligence, being unimpaired. The pathology of this affection is at the present time the subject of much discussion in the scientific world; the French Academy devoted several of their séances during the year 1865 to its special elucidation, and the Medical Journals of France and of our own country have lately contained a good deal of original matter bearing upon this obscure feature in cerebral pathology. [Frederic Bateman, M.D., "Aphasia," London, 1868]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aphasia in Medicine

aphasia a·pha·sia (ə-fā'zhə)
Partial or total loss of the ability to articulate ideas or comprehend spoken or written language, resulting from brain damage due to injury or disease. Also called logagnosia, logamnesia, logasthenia.

a·pha'si·ac' (-zē-āk') n.
a·pha'sic (-zĭk, -sĭk) adj. & n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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aphasia in Science
Partial or total loss of the ability to articulate ideas or comprehend spoken or written language, resulting from damage to the brain caused by injury or disease.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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