anorexia nervosa

[ an-uh-rek-see-uhnur-voh-suh ]
See synonyms for anorexia nervosa on Thesaurus.com
nounPsychiatry.
  1. an eating disorder primarily affecting adolescent girls and young women, characterized by pathological fear of becoming fat, distorted body image, excessive dieting, and emaciation.

Origin of anorexia nervosa

1
First recorded in 1870–75; from New Latin: “nervous anorexia”

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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Scientific definitions for anorexia nervosa

anorexia nervosa

[ nûr-vō ]


  1. An eating disorder characterized by a distorted body image, fear of becoming obese, persistent aversion to food, and severe weight loss and malnutrition. It most commonly affects teenage girls and young women, who often develop amenorrhea, osteoporosis and other abnormalities.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for anorexia nervosa

anorexia nervosa

[ (an-uh-rek-see-uh nur-voh-suh) ]


A psychosomatic disorder in which the sufferer refuses to eat and undertakes activities (such as self-induced vomiting) to bring about extreme weight loss. Anorexia, which is also characterized by a distorted self-image, occurs most often in young women aged twelve to twenty-one and may result in death if medical treatment is not obtained. Treatment for anorexia often includes extensive counseling to reveal underlying emotional problems.

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