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[in-fuh n-tl-iz-uh m, -tahy-liz-, in-fan-tl-iz-uh m] /ˈɪn fən tlˌɪz əm, -taɪˌlɪz-, ɪnˈfæn tlˌɪz əm/
the persistence in an adult of markedly childish anatomical, physiological, or psychological characteristics.
an infantile act, trait, etc., especially in an adult.
a speech disorder characterized by speech and voice patterns that are typical of very young children.
Origin of infantilism
First recorded in 1890-95; infantile + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for infantilism
Historical Examples
  • It is quite unnecessary to construct such dreams as a return to infantilism, as a regression, as the Freudians generally do.

    Psychoanalysis Andr Tridon
  • The significance of "infantile sexual lesions" has also tended to give place to that of "infantilism of sexuality."

  • One of these suffered from infantilism, one turned out to be a drunkard, and the third became a social degenerate and drunkard.

    Being Well-Born Michael F. Guyer
British Dictionary definitions for infantilism


  1. a condition in which an older child or adult is mentally or physically undeveloped
  2. isolated instances of infantile behaviour in mature persons
childish speech; baby talk
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 infantilism

1894 in a psychological sense; see infantile + -ism. Earlier in a physiological sense, "retarded and imperfect physical development."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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infantilism in Medicine

infantilism in·fan·til·ism (ĭn'fən-tl-ĭz'əm, ĭn-fān'tl-)

  1. A state of arrested development in an adult, characterized by retention of infantile mentality, accompanied by stunted growth and sexual immaturity, and often by dwarfism.

  2. Extreme immaturity, as in behavior or character.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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