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[hip-nos] /ˈhɪp nɒs/
the ancient Greek god of sleep.
Origin of Hypnos
< Greek hýpnos sleep; cognate with Old English swefn, Latin somnus, Welsh hun; cf. sopor


[hip-noh-sis] /hɪpˈnoʊ sɪs/
noun, plural hypnoses
[hip-noh-seez] /hɪpˈnoʊ siz/ (Show IPA)
an artificially induced trance state resembling sleep, characterized by heightened susceptibility to suggestion.
1875-80; hypn(otic) + -osis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for hypnoses


(Greek myth) the god of sleep Roman counterpart Somnus Compare Morpheus
Word Origin
Greek: sleep


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
an artificially induced state of relaxation and concentration in which deeper parts of the mind become more accessible: used clinically to reduce reaction to pain, to encourage free association, etc See also autohypnosis
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 hypnoses



1869, "the coming on of sleep," coined (as an alternative to hypnotism) from Greek hypnos "sleep" (see somnolence) + -osis "condition." Of an artificially induced condition, from 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hypnoses in Medicine

hypnosis hyp·no·sis (hĭp-nō'sĭs)
n. pl. hyp·no·ses (-sēz)

  1. A trancelike state resembling somnambulism, usually induced by another person, in which the subject may experience forgotten or suppressed memories, hallucinations, and heightened suggestibility.

  2. A sleeplike state or condition.

  3. Hypnotism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hypnoses in Science
A trancelike state resembling sleep, usually induced by a therapist by focusing a subject's attention, that heightens the subject's receptivity to suggestion. The uses of hypnosis in medicine and psychology include recovering repressed memories, modifying or eliminating undesirable behavior (such as smoking), and treating certain chronic disorders, such as anxiety.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hypnoses in Culture

hypnosis definition

Placing persons in a drowsy, sleeplike state in which they allegedly become vulnerable to the suggestions made by the hypnotist. Hypnosis may also be used to tap into the unconscious and is often characterized by vivid recall of memories and fantasies. These properties make hypnosis a useful tool in psychotherapy. Hypnosis also has sinister implications, for subjects may be manipulated to perform embarrassing actions or be susceptible to carrying out the hypnotist's commands after the hypnosis session (posthypnotic suggestion).

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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