catalepsy or cat·a·lep·sis [ kat-l-ep-see ] SHOW IPA / ˈkæt lˌɛp si / PHONETIC RESPELLING noun Pathology, Psychiatry. a physical condition usually associated with catatonic schizophrenia, characterized by suspension of sensation, muscular rigidity, fixity of posture, and often by loss of contact with environment. QUIZZES QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!
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Origin of catalepsy
1350–1400; <Medieval Latin
variant of Late Latin
seizure (akin to
to hold down), equivalent to
a grasping (
variant stem of
to grasp +
); replacing Middle English
OTHER WORDS FROM catalepsy cat·a·lep·tic, adjective, noun cat·a·lep·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Example sentences from the Web for catalepsy
There are such, put in the spiritualist; for instance—crabs; they are very nervous, and are easily thrown into a cataleptic state.
Smoke |Turgenev Ivan Sergeevich
A cataleptic dream would explain it all; and I was determined that a dream it should be.
And all of this the senseless seaman heard—for—he was in a cataleptic fit, where he could hear, but could not move.
He tried to stir and found that it couldn't be done; every muscle seemed tied in a cataleptic state.
noun a state of prolonged rigid posture, occurring for example in schizophrenia or in hypnotic trances Derived forms of catalepsy cataleptic, adjective Word Origin for catalepsy
C16: from Medieval Latin
catalēpsia, variant of Late Latin catalēpsis, from Greek katalēpsis, literally: a seizing, from katalambanein to hold down, from kata- down + lambanein to grasp
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
n. A condition that occurs in a variety of physical and psychological disorders and is characterized by lack of response to external stimuli and by muscular rigidity, so that the limbs remain in whatever position they are placed. Other words from catalepsy cat′a•lep ( ′tic kăt′l-ĕp) ′tĭk adj. cat′a•lep ′toid′ adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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