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[noo r-uh s-thee-nee-uh, nyoo r-] /ˌnʊər əsˈθi ni ə, ˌnyʊər-/
Psychiatry. (not in technical use) nervous debility and exhaustion occurring in the absence of objective causes or lesions; nervous exhaustion.
Origin of neurasthenia
First recorded in 1855-60; neur- + asthenia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for neurasthenia
Historical Examples
  • Our time is certainly not worse off on the score of neurasthenia than its predecessors.

    Psychotherapy Hugo Mnsterberg
  • It is a perfect paradise for anyone who has not got neurasthenia.

    Psychotherapy Hugo Mnsterberg
  • The neurasthenia of the defendants he pursued in courts annoyed him only slightly.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht
  • The politer word, to be used chivalrously, was "neurasthenia."

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht
  • Hazlitt's attraction to Rachel in the face of her neurasthenia did not confuse him.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht
  • This, I am told by an authority, was a case of neurasthenia, or nerve-paralysis.

  • This would seem to have been a case of hypnotism, rather than neurasthenia.

  • neurasthenia is the "fatigue neurosis," as a leading expert terms it.

    Preventable Diseases Woods Hutchinson
  • It was produced by every guest in the room whispering loudly, "neurasthenia!"

    Sixes and Sevens

    O. Henry
  • So she drifts into neurasthenia and has fits of crying and periods of melancholia.

British Dictionary definitions for neurasthenia


an obsolete technical term for a neurosis characterized by extreme lassitude and inability to cope with any but the most trivial tasks
Derived Forms
neurasthenic (ˌnjʊərəsˈθɛnɪk) adjective
neurasthenically, adverb
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 neurasthenia

"nervous exhaustion," 1854, medical Latin, from neur- (form of neuro- before a vowel) + asthenia "weakness" (see asthenia). Related: Neurasthenic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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neurasthenia in Medicine

neurasthenia neu·ras·the·ni·a (nur'əs-thē'nē-ə, nyur'-)
A complex of symptoms characterized by chronic fatigue and weakness, loss of memory, and generalized aches and pains.

neu'ras·then'ic (-thěn'ĭk) 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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