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2017 Word of the Year

latah

or lata

[lah-tuh] /ˈlɑ tə/
noun
1.
a pattern of neurotic behavior, usually induced by a startle, first discovered in Malaya, and characterized by the compulsive imitation of the actions and words of others.
Origin of latah
1880-1885
Borrowed into English from Malay around 1880-85
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for latah

latah

/ˈlɑːtə/
noun
1.
a psychological condition, observed esp in Malaysian cultures, in which an individual, after experiencing a shock, becomes anxious and suggestible, often imitating the actions of another person
Word Origin
C19: from Malay
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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latah in Medicine

latah la·tah (lä'tə)
n.
A nervous disorder characterized by an exaggerated physical response to being startled or to unexpected suggestion.

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