Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[kat-uh-toh-nee-uh, -tohn-yuh] /ˌkæt əˈtoʊ ni ə, -ˈtoʊn yə/
noun, Psychiatry.
a syndrome seen most frequently in schizophrenia, characterized by muscular rigidity and mental stupor, sometimes alternating with great excitement and confusion.
Origin of catatonia
First recorded in 1915-20; cata- + -tonia
Related forms
catatoniac, noun
[kat-uh-ton-ik] /ˌkæt əˈtɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for catatonia
Historical Examples
  • It is true that it is frequent in catatonia but is not exclusively there.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • Taxonomic zeal began to blind vision when Kahlbaum formulated his "catatonia" and included stupor in the symptom complex.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • Fortunately Kahlbaum prevented serious error by leaving the prognosis of his catatonia open.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • Then you can check your notes and decide if it's schizophrenia, or catatonia, or psychasthenia, or what not.

    A Thought For Tomorrow Robert E. Gilbert
British Dictionary definitions for catatonia


a state of muscular rigidity and stupor, sometimes found in schizophrenia
Derived Forms
catatonic (ˌkætəˈtɒnɪk) adjective, noun
Word Origin
C20: New Latin, from German Katatonie, from cata- + -tonia, from Greek tonos tension
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for catatonia

1888, from medical Latin catatonia; replacing katatonia (1880s), which was formed directly from Greek kata- "down" (see cata-) + tonos "tone" (see tenet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
catatonia in Medicine

catatonia cat·a·to·ni·a (kāt'ə-tō'nē-ə)
An abnormal condition often associated with schizophrenia and variously characterized by stupor, stereotypy, mania, and either rigidity or extreme flexibility of the limbs.

cat'a·ton'ic (-tŏn'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for catatonia

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for catatonia

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for catatonia