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[ek-oh-ley-lee-uh] /ˌɛk oʊˈleɪ li ə/
Psychiatry. the uncontrollable and immediate repetition of words spoken by another person.
the imitation by a baby of the vocal sounds produced by others, occurring as a natural phase of childhood development.
Origin of echolalia
First recorded in 1880-85; echo + -lalia
Related forms
[ek-oh-lal-ik, -ley-lik] /ˌɛk oʊˈlæl ɪk, -ˈleɪ lɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for echolalia


(psychiatry) the tendency to repeat mechanically words just spoken by another person: can occur in cases of brain damage, mental retardation, and schizophrenia
Derived Forms
echolalic (ˌɛkəʊˈlælɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from echo + Greek lalia talk, chatter, from lalein to chatter
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 echolalia

1885, from Greek ekho (see echo (n.)) + lalia "talk, prattle, a speaking," from lalein "to speak, prattle," of echoic origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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echolalia in Medicine

echolalia ech·o·la·li·a (ěk'ō-lā'lē-ə)

  1. The immediate and involuntary repetition of words or phrases just spoken by others, often a symptom of autism or some types of schizophrenia. Also called echophrasia.

  2. An infant's repetition of the sounds made by others, a normal occurrence in childhood development. Also called echophrasia.

ech'o·la'lic (-lĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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